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How do you prepare your strategy communication plan? Here are six detailed questions to help you plan and prepare to communicate & socialise your strategy.

First, the challenge

Years ago, I the organisation I worked for did some research about the understanding of strategy.  It suggested that as few as 5% of the people in an organisation understand the strategy. This figure seems extreme to me. It might be 10 times more, say 50% understand your strategy.

Whichever end of those figures you may have in your organisation, it is still worrying.  It is worrying because if your strategy is not in their heads when they make decisions, then how are they making decisions? And what strategy, or whose strategy, are they implementing?

If your strategy is not in their heads when they make decisions, then how are they making decisions, and what strategy is being implemented?

Strategy does not exist in plans: it exists in people’s heads.  This is why we say, strategy should not simply be communicated: strategy should be socialised. Is your strategy inside your peoples’ heads?

Here is some help:

Questions to ask in your strategy communication plan

Here are six questions, with detailed sub-questions, that will help you develop your strategy communication plan. Ask yourselves…

1) Are you telling the story of your strategy?

  • Can you tell the story of the strategy, clearly, in less that 5 minutes?
  • Do you have your Chief Executive telling the story?
  • Do all of the management team tell the same story?

2) Are you telling the deeper, richer story that people need?

  • Have you communicated the compelling imperative for change?
  • Do you make it clear what the overall objective is? What is the organisation really about?
  • Do you highlight the tensions and contradictions that need to be managed in the strategy?
  • Can you explain the underlying assumptions and beliefs that drive the strategy?
  • Do you tell the story about the organisation as a whole, or the departments that make it up?

3) Are you engaging your people?

  • Do you engage people visually, so they can see what you mean?
  • Do you engage people intellectually, so they know what makes up the strategy?
  • Do you engage people with the passion and enthusiasm for the ambition, so they feel it also?
  • Do you communicate the values of the organisation and how these underpin the strategy?
  • Is it available so people can see it, review it, comment on it and develop it?

4) What will the future be like?

  • Do you make clear the financial challenges and implications?
  • Can you explain what it will be like in 1, 2, 3, 5 or more years out?
  • Do you explain what the customers want to experience and have? From their perspective?

5) Do people know where they fit in? Are they doing the right things in the right way?

  • Do people get it?
  • Can they then tell the story in the same compelling way?
  • Can people see where they fit into the story and their contribution?
  • Do people volunteer where they could also help with the strategy?

6) Ensuring you have feedback

  • Do you gather feedback immediately afterwards?
  • Are you able to systematically analyse and use the feedback?
  • Is it creating revenue for you?

Our clients do…..

You can get more advice on how to develop a plan to communicate and socialise your strategy in Phil’s book, “Communicating Strategy”.

You can get a guide to all our communicating and socialising strategy blog posts by reading our Executive guide to communicating and socialising strategy.

Or you can give us a call.