Yogi Berra said it well: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you just might end up someplace else.” This happens all the time with strategy, and I believe that the first half of the quote tells the story. Corporate strategy is often not well understood by leaders across the company who need to execute it. And, it is often a little unclear or unfocused for even the few at the very top who developed it.
If you’re thinking about improving your ability to make your strategy happen, you might want to ask yourself three questions:
1) How well do you know where your organization is going?
2) How clear and focused is your senior team around where your organization wants to go?
3) How well do your leaders across the company understand where you want to go and their respective roles in making it happen?
To really make strategy happen, context is king. For leaders who are trying to synchronize their behaviors while still operating without a lot of direct oversight, the ability to be fully tapped into the larger business context is critical. Only when people understand the big picture can they can align their efforts and drive execution. We refer to this idea as Strategic Literacy, where the collective literacy of a group of people in their own strategy is a key determinant of their success as an organization. Without Strategic Literacy, your whole organization just might end up someplace else.