Business Rocks – Communicating Strategy Is Boring

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This week’s riff: The UK general election campaign is now underway and at Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, reporters said that Theresa May and other Tory MPs quoted the phrase, ‘Strong and stable’ over 15 times.

As with President Trump’s campaign slogan – Make America Great Again – politicians use a repeated refrain to help voters buy into their message. This is, of course, a classic advertising tactic and is equally useful for executive leaders who want their managers and colleagues to buy into their business strategy.

When I was at Boots, for example, the CEO, Richard Baker, started his answer to any question by listing the company’s five strategic priorities. Quite quickly people began to understand what the priorities were and managed their own agenda accordingly. I estimated that, over his 3-year tenure, Richard listed these five priorities around 6,000 times (3 years x 200 working days per year x 10 meetings per day)!

Strategy implementation is all about alignment and persistence, and a consistent leadership message is an essential element in creating an aligned and focused organization. Communicating the message may become, well, a little boring, but the results you deliver can be transformative and, whatever your political persuasion, that is surely something worth voting for.

What is the strategic message you want your teams and organization to understand and focus on?

Off The Record: Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow

Nothing’s true and nothing’s right

So, let me be alone tonight

‘Cause you can’t change the way I am

Are you strong enough to be my man?

© Stuart Cross 2017. All rights reserved.

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