First, provide an overview of the company's history, the previous quarter's results, and the upcoming quarter's major initiatives. Call a company-wide meeting every quarter focused on communicating your organization's strategic plan, either for the entire year or for the upcoming quarter. Introduce the group of people who were involved in putting together the strategic plan because you want them to know that this isn't just coming from the CEO and the CFO. You want to introduce the people that you've included as part of this process.
During the meeting, describe the basic principles of your strategic plan, as well as any new terms or definitions of terms. Show your team how strategy has played a part in the past growth of the company. They have to have a firm understanding that your company has put together strategies that it executes to success, unlike your competitors. In fact, over 75% of companies never put together a strategic plan at all. When you have no plan, you plan to fail. The more the staff and the employees truly understand what the plan is, the more buy-in you'll receive from them in the end.
Provide key elements of what has led to your growth, the challenges you've incurred in the past, and how that has informed or helped guide you towards providing future direction.
Clearly describe the company's strengths and weaknesses with specific examples, even if it involves mentioning the competition or calling out things that the executive team felt were weak within the company.
This year is a greatly different year for most companies around the world. A successful year of recovery is a must for most. If you are carrying out your plans in a different fashion, you should communicate clearly that you've taken a new approach or have reworked the plan from the ground up. If you're not specific on how this year is different, you might have a tsunami of resistance against it before you've even begun. So, get ahead of the resistance by naming the difference—this will really help connect the employees to the plan.
Describe in detail how this strategic plan differs from the ones in the past. In other words, describe all the steps you've gone through that have gotten you to this point. Describe the SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Making connection points with employees will give them a mental place to store the information you're sharing. Many companies are disconnected from their employees, and it directly impacts employee management, engagement, the ability to hold them accountable and drive execution.
Describe the plan. Start with your vision, which includes, of course, your BHAG, your core purpose, what you're trying to achieve as a company, and core values. Dive into your core values in detail—if they've differed from the past, spend a lot of time on them now. If you're restating your core values, give them more context. Explain what barriers could arise to prevent your organization from achieving its vision.
Outline the three major strategic projects that the company has chosen for this quarter and the barriers that might prevent your organization from achieving these strategic objectives. Outline the metrics that you'll be tracking to ensure that you're achieving your strategic project's execution. Remember, a strategic project has to be measurable—it can't be vague. You have to have a way to measure its success, such as with key performance indicators or KPIs. (Some methodologies call them OKRs, objectives with key measurable results or OKRs, but they are essentially the same thing.)
Finally, remember that all employees have a different level of understanding. They come from different walks of life and are filling different roles within the company. Your plan needs to be described simplistically, as does every aspect of it so that everybody clearly understands what you're talking about. I've seen strategic plans that get way too technical for rolling out at a company meeting—you're not talking development, accounting, or legal jargon. You need to put things in layman's terms so that everybody understands.
Share your plan and engage your team; it's the first step to ensuring you execute your strategy!
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