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Have a conversation, take people on the change journey and engage hearts and minds in the new strategy or culture.
Where do the strategy, vision and values sit in your organisation? At the top? Well, that may be okay if you’re just starting out on designing a new strategy; but on a day-to-day basis if your people don’t own and buy in to the business strategy then you have little hope of seeing it enacted in reality.
One of our colleagues likes to tell the story of a discussion at a networking group at which one CEO boasted about the strength of their business continuity plan. Our colleague told the CEO to stop the first person they met on the return to work and ask that person what they would do if an outside event such as a fire resulted in the temporary closure of the office. The CEO did so and had to report back that their employee knew nothing about their continuity plan or what actions they had to take should a range of events occur. The top team knew, they had devised the plan; but they had neglected with everyone else, rendering the plan useless.
The lesson is simple. The top team may be instrumental in devising the strategy but the organisation to change, everyone connected with the organisation has to change. That means having a conversation, taking people on the change journey and engaging hearts and minds in the new strategy or culture. The need to have this conversation, to communicate and engage people in the change is the fourth step in building a culture of innovation.
Do you want a strategy which sits only at leadership level, do you want a strategy which appears as shiny words on a lobby wall; or do you want embedded strategy with every resource from people to technology aligned to that purpose. The difference, quite simply, is communication.
Building a Culture of Innovation is being published by Kogan Page on 3rd December and is now available for pre-order.