To strategize, according to dictionary.com, is to plan or create a plan for a specific reason or goal. The elusive, often-misunderstood process that some leaders believe is a one- or two-person activity. If you are a leader who strategizes alone or with only a few of your staff then you may wonder why your teams don’t follow through with the strategy or why people struggle with its ownership. I am guilty myself, so not pointing a finger.
The problem with developing a strategy behind closed doors means only a portion of the company created it. So, you may ask “But how do you bring in the entire company when strategizing?” By utilizing cross-functional teams within my organization, utilizing a scenario-planning model, and having each team take a scenario, we were able to discuss and make plans for a successful future for the company. This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor should it. It ended up being a year-long process that fully vested all of our staff and therefore created buy-in from each person.
Lessons learned included me handing over the reins to my executive team, which really empowered them and then filtered down throughout the entire organization. The output was amazing and when one of those scenarios was translated into our strategy, we had 100 percent buy-in! The purpose of what we did wasn’t as much about strategy as it was about developing people and developing leaders.
When you empower your people, you have much greater success.