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Strategy Awareness key to engage people for action

If you do not know where to go, you will not get there… Our definition of strategy is rather pragmatic: it is about why the organization exists (present), where it wants to go (future) and how it wants to get there (path). To ensure that people can contribute to the strategy it should be known. Besides the fact that strategically aware organizations have a higher return, it is much more engaging (and fun) for most people to know what their daily actions contribute to.

Strategy Awareness key to engage people for action

Our definition of strategy is rather pragmatic: it is about why the organization exists (present), where it wants to go (future) and how it wants to get there (journey). To ensure that people can contribute to the strategy, it should be known. Beside the fact that strategically aware organizations have a higher return, it is much more engaging (and fun) for most people to know what their daily actions contribute to.


  
It is an intuitive truth that a shared ambition is the beginning of effective realization. But for big organizations it is a growing challenge to get strategic key messages across to all people. One of the causes is an information overload in most organizations due to the growing complexity in most business environments; as a consequence people just do not give attention anymore to all the messages they receive, they literally switch off. Research has shown that average managers communicate less than 1% of their time about vision and strategy and if they communicate the amount of slides and graphics they use to bring the strategy across is another reason for people to switch off.


  
So what does it take to create a focused and strategically aware organization? The keys to making strategy known and understood within organizations are simple language, the use of images and a manageable number of slides, ideally presented by an engaged and inspirational manager who is visibly passionate about the strategy and can give examples of current strategy implementation. Repetition of strategic key messages in various platforms is another key to make people strategically aware, just as is translating the strategy to personal goals and actions. What is important to people they do not forget, e.g. the birthday of a child. The key to strategy awareness is to make strategy important to everyone in the organization, and not just to a few.