Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Let’s face it, the English language is complicated. We enjoy a host of synonyms with which we are able to spice up our communication. Homonyms linger, waiting to make us look foolish for choosing the wrong version of a word in our writing (there, their, or they’re anybody? Here or hear?) Obscure rules abound – governing not only the construct of a proper sentence, but the proper pronunciation of words which contain the very same sequence of letters. My belief is that with so many chances to “be wrong” and “look stupid” many people simply stick to what they know. Different might be nice, but it’s not worth the risk of demonstrating that I don’t really understand.
Your Organizational Strategy, in many ways, is not too dissimilar. A few short paragraphs of carefully chosen words meant to convey what needs to be done in order to “win”. The elephant in the room, of course, is that the majority of the Organization doesn’t understand what it means to them on a daily basis. In our analogy, instead of using these new “words”, they will stick with what they know.
While this doesn’t doom your strategic initiatives, it certainly slows the realization of benefits.
What can be done?
Create a value chain in order to describe exactly which organizational capabilities are expected to contribute to the realization of the strategy. With this in hand, understanding fully who is impacted is much easier.
Identify capabilities that will need to change. With an estimated 2/3 of CEO’s expecting to modify their business model in the next 2 years, changes to your Organizational capabilities are a given.
Define what tomorrow looks like for each capability. Irrespective of the degree or type of change – explicitly define needs for the future state.
As you are mobilizing the “project” components of the change, relentlessly manage the organizational change. Effective org change requires much more than a couple of communications and some training. (In my experience, it’s this level of “change management” that ensures that no one will risk deviating from what they knew).
While summarized in a few simple sentences, this is far from easy. That said, if your goal is to truly demystify your strategy and make it actionable across your organization in the near term (making it phonetic) there is little choice.
We can help.