In my last post I described the following model as containing the essential three elements that must be in place in organisations for successful strategy execution to take place:
I expanded in my last blog on why I have come to believe that protection wrapped in healthy team dynamics is a foundational element for successful and speedy strategy execution.
So why after that did the direction axis grab my attention? I think it is rare that the top management of an organisation fail to try to give direction. What I had observed in my career though led me to realise that getting a whole organisation to share and believe in the same understanding of that direction is a really hard thing to achieve. I even had one experience where every function in an organisation told me that they were marching to the corporate tune and achieving their goals – but the output to the customer was terrible because they simply were not aligned.
Misalignment between different parts of an organisation, frequent changes of direction or silent disagreement cause failure and unending frustration – really slowing down the execution process.
The important lesson here is that direction is only effective where it is deeply internalised by the people receiving it, that the internalised model is similar enough for each individual and that the strategy is itself well integrated.
At Team Excelerator our working definition of direction in this sense includes a clear common understanding of todays’ reality, of the intended destination and the key steps to get there, and a commitment in the organisation to do what it takes to achieve those steps. This is what Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute terms Shared Intentionality.
Developing this shared intentionality is impossible without the team being able to deeply discuss their views – and for that to happen the condition of psychological safety must be in place. It then becomes possible to involve more people in co-creating the strategy.
Finally, I have seen many instances where strategy is explained using factual power point bullet type presentations, despite there being so much evidence that this is ineffective in capturing peoples’ imaginations and sticking in their memories. Our contention is that the only way to achieve this is to develop a strong narrative that resonates with everyone in the organisation.
At Team Excelerator we have built a strong methodology to Create the Conditions for Success – allowing you to Get Results. Fast
In the meantime, we’d be delighted to talk. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org