“I was in a warm bed… then I woke up in a plan” is a line from a Woody Allen film. If your strategy is communicated badly, this is how it will feel to many people.
You have spent months on the strategy: they have not!
Having spent a long time developing the strategy, you will be in a different place from those not involved. Just think: you may have spent several months of detailed work analysing the problems, gathering facts, exploring ideas and developing the solution. Your head has moved on from where you were several months ago. However, others have not been involved. They may know something is going on, but will not know what it is.
Part of the challenge you face as a Manager or Director is to get yourself back to the situation where you started and look at where you are now, as if you were still there. To develop the communication skills to get this message across effectively and engage your staff.
Throughout the Communicating Strategy book you will be asked to consider the situation and look at the strategy from the perspective of others. This is a skill that some people take time to build. It is one thing to say, ‘I would not do that in their shoes’.
Remember to step into their shoes, and where their heads are
You are not them. You are not in their shoes. There is a Native American saying, ‘Judge not someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes’. To walk in their shoes, you have to ask the question, ‘How would I think if I were them?’.
Alternatively, ask ‘What would I have to know or believe to act like that?’.
Chapters three, four and five of my book Communicating Strategy, will help you develop these skills and, through these, a more effective communication style.
Phil Jones, Author, Communicating Strategy