Just finished an excellent training session on the importance of strategy. And the fact that it needs to be simple, direct and memorable.
Especially when it comes to Change Initiatives. One of the points we discussed is that when things go wrong, as they inevitably will - getting a metaphorical punch in the face - we invariably revert to our default setting. There's a reason that 70% of all Transformation Initiatives fail. Shock, confusion and disagreement often cause us, in such circumstances, to turn immediately to habitual modes of operation. That is, we go back to doing what we've always done. But if what we've always done had been working, we wouldn't need a Transformation Initiative. So, in reverting to old patterns, we reinforce them. Long-winded Strategies that try to encompass every aspect of the business and every possible eventuality are forgotten as soon as they're written. They need to be concise, memorable and ACTIONABLE. And they need to become part of the DNA of the business, so that at any point we can stop and ask 'is this helping us reach our goal?'. It goes without saying there must be depth and foundation to our strategy. Simply saying 'We're going to build a high-performance culture' is meaningless unless there's underlying activity to back it up. But when things go pear-shaped, we need to be able to assess the situation, compare it to our strategy and re-set our compass before hesitance and second-guessing can happen.