Clarity is an Essential in Strategy Execution

In developing and cascading business goals, to operating managers, communication is vital. Communication that provides feedback and time planning built into execution development, and takes into account capacity is a great asset to any business head. Often operating heads lose sight of the strategic goals; they need their teams to deliver upon, due to lack of clarity on the task at hand and, at times, on their own role within the team.

Communication is a two-way street. It’s not what is said that’s important, but what’s understood. Compound this with factors such as multi-cultural teams, age-old processes and an on-going inertia that most organisations with sizeable number of staff have. Each of these factors creates a mental environment for the executive within which communication is received. Net result, lack of clarity if there is no feedback and dialogue.

So how do we achieve clarity?

  1. When communicating, ask the receiver to play back what they have understood: As a business leader, explain the rationale of the strategic goal and the proposed methodology for execution. Explain, clearly, how and why the operating head’s skill sets would be essential in execution. Then ask the executive to play back what he or she understands of the direction.
  2. Listen to the feedback: Don’t just hear the playback but listen to pick up what are the perceived obstacles.
  3. Ask for way forward: Ask the operating head for suggestions to go forward. This would make the operating head feel part of the decision making process instead of feeling burdened with the management decision.

These three simple steps will bring forth clarity in operations and produce engagement, empowerment and motivation.

Engagement comes about from ownership of the recommendation made. Once the operating head feels and knows that his or her suggestions are being taken on board, it automatically makes him or her feel valued. Being valued leads to being motivated i.e. to ensure the suggestion given is executed to plan and targets achieved.

With engagement and motivation, there is empowerment which takes place as the board or the CEO receives clarity in how the execution ties back to deliver to the business goal. Once the C level has the trust, operating heads can get the free delegation, which they need to execute to their recommended course of action and achieve the required results.


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