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Frans Riemersma, 08 Dec '15

Communicate Your Strategy in 3 Popular Ways

46% of companies have no strategy execution process in place. Learn how the rest uses 9 ways to successfully communicate a strategy and goals.

Defining goals and objectives is a good first step. But your strategy will not materialize if your workforce is not aware of it. Research reveals there are 3 most popular ways to communicate and roll out strategy and goals.

Most strategies fail in the execution phase, the well-known “Good Strategy, Poor Execution” trap. Communicating and otherwise sharing your organization’s goals with your workforce is key. It enables your staff to align individual or team objectives with the overall company goals.

Your staff will agree with that. 87% of employees “indicate they could have better accomplished their individual objectives if they had been provided with a clear understanding of the organization’s plan”.

On average, 34% of employees is not very, or not at all aware of the strategic business goals. Depending on the size of the company this percentage differs. The bigger the company, the more the staff is aware of the company goals, according to the surveyed CFO’s.

Bigger companies face a different challenge. Not only the size of the company influences the awareness of goals, also the number of layers. 60% of executives“strongly agreed that they know what their company stands for”. A minority, 46% of managers and only 37% of other employees know what their company stands for. 

It pays to have a strategy execution process in place. 70% of the companies with a formal strategy execution process report superior results compared to their competition. Only 27% of the companies without a strategy execution process report such results.

You cannot action a PowerPoint

When redesigning the marketing function for a company, we asked for the strategy and corresponding plans to support the execution. We were then redirected to separate departments to collect the requested information.

The company comprised of 8 business units and was operating in 16 countries. You can imagine it took several days to collect the strategic business objectives from so many different sources. We ended up with a heap of presentations and spreadsheets. Just imagine the sheer effort of all the marketers involved to create a weekly report for management. Welcome to planet MS Office.

It was hard to imagine this pile would enable a successful execution of the company strategy. You simply cannot action a PowerPoint. It took a few days to consolidate numerous presentations and spreadsheets. The overview we created was one that had never existed before in that company. Like 46% of companies, this company was in dire need of a new strategy execution process.

9 ways to communicate your strategic business goals

A Harvard Business Review study reveals 9 ways companies communicate and distribute strategic business goals. Take a look at the list and decide which ones should work for you.

Most popular strategic execution routes

1. Via corporate intranet – 67%

2. Through executive management briefings – 61%

3. At “all company” meetings – 60%

Moderately popular strategic execution routes

4. During assessments/performance reviews – 54%

5. Through individual goals that are aligned with corporate goals – 51%

6. Via training and leadership development– 42%

Least popular strategic execution routes

7. Through recruitment and employee familiarization – 22%

8. Via corporate social media – 22%

9. Through detailed job descriptions – 16%

How to create your own strategic execution process

The research did not elaborate on the success rate of these distribution methods. It is up to you to find out what works for your company or department.

We suggest you create an A4 communication plan for your marketing strategy, goals and objectives.

1. Select a combination of methods to your liking. Keep it simple and start with three.

2. Create an approach for each selected method and specify further in terms of frequency, format, audience, etc.

Good luck optimizing your strategy execution process!