Updated: Jun 26, 2020
With more than 3 million Americans unemployed, companies are now revisiting their corporate strategies. Leaders are scrambling to find the best ways to protect their businesses and become more resilient against future pandemics. They are thinking about questions such as: Can a virtual working model succeed in my organization? How do we build a more flexible supply chain? How can we improve business continuity when employees are sick and not able to work? If you are asking these same questions, you are in good company with others trying to reinvent and prepare their businesses.
Whether you are refining your strategy internally or partnering with a consultant, a lot of time and energy goes into the creation of the strategy document. Because of the blood, sweat and tears shed during strategy creation, many leaders view the final report deliverable as the most valuable piece of the project. Would you believe that most of those output documents and deliverables don’t actually see the light of day? In fact, studies estimate that 67% of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution. This staggering fact underscores the pressure employers feel to remove execution barriers while also inspiring employees to own the action plans that will deliver for the business.
The biggest culprits halting strategy execution progress are also very common issues in our personal lives – lack of connection, collaboration and communication. By leveraging these values during your strategy development journey, you can foster organization action and bring those strategies to life.
Connection builds trust
Genuine connection is about relating to someone’s perspective and ideas. This is important in virtually every work scenario – sales calls, conferences, team meetings and even in hallway conversations. Taking the time to listen and openly consider information from others builds trust and engagement while also delivering a more robust work output.
Sometimes connecting with people happens naturally but other times the leader has to be proactive to drive a connection. Different personality types, communication styles or even cultural backgrounds might require unique approaches for success.
“Some of the most courageous steps I’ve seen from introverted manufacturing leaders is when they’ve included connection activities in their Leader Standard Work. By doing this, they highlight the importance of the activity and hold themselves accountable to actually connecting. These work activities can be in the form of getting or giving feedback, asking for improvement ideas, or simply learning more about their employees as people.” – Gina Tsiropoulos – C3C Thought Leader
Collaboration drives stronger well-rounded strategy
Collaboration is highly valued in many industrial businesses because it reduces the likelihood of silos and encourages employee engagement. Ideally, good ideas will seamlessly weave across functions and quickly build stronger plans. But in reality, collaboration is often uncomfortable, inconsistent, and messy. Politics and personal agendas affect success as well.
Progressive leaders can encourage participation and respectful conflict resolution by building cross functional project teams, providing big picture context for collaboration, celebrating team wins and creatively facilitating consistent communications.
Communication keeps everyone moving forward… together
Transparency and visibility are buzz words when discussing communication in business today. This is no surprise when you consider poor communication impacts the bottom line. Even in businesses with less than 100 employees, poor communication is estimated to cost each company $420,000 on average per year.
Communication is critical in effectively activating strategy as leaders must ensure the different levers of strategy work in tandem together. Communication is also critical as teams check and adjust strategy over time. Leaders may use a multitude of tools to foster strong communication within the team. Whether this takes the form of recurring project update meetings, internal newsletters / video updates, or even formal feedback methods, the key is to plan for and support strong communication within the organization.
“We created a Project Dashboard with C3Consulting that is reviewed weekly. This simple communication tool single-handedly transformed the strategy on paper into immediate actions by the team. It has helped keep us on track and held accountable to delivering on the goals that we’ve established together. I can honestly say, the investment in the implementation phase has made all the difference.” – Rhonda, Visual Workplace.
Leveraging these foundational life lessons in your business can be the difference between an academic strategy exercise and transforming your business to prosper in the “new normal”. If you have questions or need help building a strategic plan to achieve your vision for growth, contact Craig Martin, Founder of C3Consulting or Wendy Hogan, Marketing Account Manager at C3Cteam.com or (678) 956-4552.
C3Consulting enables its clients to achieve business performance excellence by dramatically improving their “Go-To-Market” processes, including customer segmentation, customer relationship management (CRM), brand building, product/category development, E-commerce and communications. Operating in the United States and Canada with industrial-focused manufacturing and distribution companies, the team at C3Consulting has decades of senior level sales, marketing and operations experience.
 (2020). How does Coronavirus affect the economy? BusinessInsider.com, link  Carucci, R. (2017). Executives Fail to Execute Strategy Because They’re Too Internally Focused. Harvard Business Review, link  Buhler, P.M. Worden, J.D, (2017). The Cost of Poor Communications. SHRM Org link