When you are leader, you have an obligation to be certain that your team is clear about your strategy and the big picture. If they do not “get it,” the first place to start to look is at yourself and the senior leadership of your organization. You have heard it before all initiatives and positive energy starts from the top down. If you employees do not believe you believe and are just going through the daily tasks without any passion why should they. Why would you? Does everyone truly understand these differentials or do they fall back into the same old general routine?
As a leader, do you know really know if your strategy is understood and can be executed? Have you gotten the objective results? Sales numbers, patient satisfaction scores, positive customer experiences, employee retention.
If not, then realign and reenergize your workforce. Start by setting a standard for what you mean by “getting the big picture. Set up talking points. Have a 30-second and three-minute elevator speech about the services and goods you produce. Have every employee in your organization answer 5-10 questions about the strategy and focus.
If they sound like your boss and your peers, you are golden; if not, you are likely out of sync.
Some questions to get you started.
1. Who are the customers or customer segments we serve, listed in priority order?
2. What are the services we provide now and which ones, if any, need to change as we implement the current strategy?
3. What is our value proposition and how does it set us apart in the marketplace? This is crucial -do not be a commodity. Customization of service, experience will definitely make a different. Ask your audience what they want?
4. Which environmental trends/issues (such as market, economic, societal, political or environmental) are important to our strategy?
5. What are three things your division/department is doing to support the strategy?
Each of these big picture questions gets at the intent behind the strategy. There are right and wrong answers to these questions. In addition, a superficial understanding is not enough. Good people can be working hard on the wrong thing if their understanding of these questions is off base. Everyone involved in your team has to have a deep understanding of the big picture so that they can have the right tools, services, and people to provide solutions.
Throughout my career there have been frequent times that you can see the misalignment with strategy-it is evident in attitude, scores, and sales quotas. People have to understand and are engaged to be on the right rung in the ladder to move your company, its products and services upward and forward.
Regardless of your job or title, you have an obligation to ensure you can answer each of these questions (plus others as needed) for your business. If you are a senior leader, you have an additional obligation to ensure that everyone in your reporting structure can answer these questions in a manner consistent with your expectations. See what you learn and then take action.
What have you done in your department to have everyone on board? Love to hear you ideas.