The word strategy is used frequently but have you actually sat back and asked “What is strategy?”

Here is one definition: “A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”.

This has me thinking! Long term aim… is there such a thing in this world? Can any business big or small guarantee a long term aim?

Ask yourself the question how predictable is the world right now? How predictable is the currency rate? How predictable is the global economy? If you were as shocked (and disgusted) as I was about the recent Paris attacks it is clear that the simple answer is nothing can be predicted.

Everything is changing so quickly that by the time a long term aim or strategy is signed off – the important bit – StrategyGraphicthe implementation of that strategy into action means that the strategy is no longer applicable as circumstances have changed.

Following on from my previous blog I think this is vital to organisations to realise… yes there are adaptive strategies such as Agile and Scrum but work has changed.  Kris Duggan, co-founder and CEO of the California-based business software company BetterWorks states that “Social collaboration, fast feedback, digital reputation – these form the new expectations of work”.

This concept of continuous communication needs to happen in order for businesses to remain on track to achieve their overall aim.

This may sound easy and logical but take a moment and think about this…Think about your company at the moment – I am sure (I hope) you have received information and you know what next year’s objectives are. (If you don’t then you have a problem!).

But how often does this communication get filtered across the organisation?

Sure you get quarterly Town hall call, a bi-annual email from the CEO or an overview from your manager at Performance Review time but this is simply not enough to engage or inform you as an individual… it needs to be continuous as things change continually.

Now don’t get me wrong I believe that every organisation needs a long term or overall aim (a strategy) but some businesses only review goals like their finances – when the tax man requires them to!

I just think leaders of organisations need to adapt to be effective and need to keep that continuous connection, what we call the drumbeat rolling through an organisation.

In turn it helps with some major contributors of success:

  1. Communication
  2. Engagement
  3. Productivity

These outputs are important aspects for any business – the overall aim… with the New Year approaching most of you will be asked “what is your strategy for 2016?”

Before you answer or start your plan I hope this blog makes you think a bit further and try something different!

Stephen Cushion – General Manager; Consulting 

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