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5 Ways to Effectively Communicate Your Strategy

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Your business strategy is what drives you as an organization and everybody going on the journey must have a clear understanding of where the company is going and how it wants to get there so they can play their part effectively. If they don't have that understanding they could become a hindrance. Make every member of your staff an active ambassador by entrenching the strategy and culture in their hearts. here are a few tips that will help you achieve this.

I vividly remember the very first time I walked into the reception at the Honeywell Group Lagos. "The Honeywell Dream" was framed on a wall opposite the sitting area so that any visitor who came in could see it. I recall reading and immediately identifying with the dream. That was one of the things that made working there so great.

Shortly after, before I started work with them, I met one of the staff, and he was so excited that I was coming on board. the first thing he shared with me was the company vision, mission, core values and what the company was planning to do. I later realized that everyone in the company had a clear understanding of the company strategy, all staff walked and talked the vision, and together they realized the dream.

Honeywell was a great example of how an organization entrenched its strategy and culture within the hearts of its workforce. Below are a few tips on how you can do the same for your company.

#1- Document the Strategy

Of course, the first step in communicating your strategy is to have it clearly documented. Your strategy should be simple and clear; set it out in stages, for example, "the 6 pillars," or "5 point agenda" etc.

Ideally, all staff should have been involved in the development of the strategy in the first place so everyone would have had background knowledge of what the company plans to achieve and where it wants to go in the long and short term. But where the company is very large this may not be possible, the process will be more limited to the top and senior management, thus the need for proper dissemination throughout the organization.

It is important that every single member of your company has a clear understanding of the vision, mission and core strategy, such that even the cleaner can explain what the company is about to anybody who wants to know. That way every single person working in the company automatically becomes an ambassador and has the potential to attract new business.

So breaking it down into simple steps and easy to remember phrases will help understanding and assimilation.

#2 - Set Clear Action Points and Milestones

Set clear goals and milestones and assign each activity to specific people for oversight of accomplishment. Once everyone knows how they are contributing to making the vision happen, the more they feel part of the process which will increase buy-in and ownership.

Clear goals and milestones also help in tracking progress. Remember to celebrate each win and recognize staff for their contributions to success. Where targets are not met or delayed, ensure that necessary steps are taken to address the reason for non-achievement. Encourage staff to stay focused, keep going and not be deterred by the setback. Keep morale high by directing staff to focus on past achievements and successes and not the current challenges or failures. Try to maintain a healthy momentum for implementation.

#3 - Choose the Right Medium for the Right Audience

Now that you have documented the strategy, which medium will you use to communicate to each audience?

  • PowerPoint presentations

  • Meetings

  • Workshops

  • Memos

  • Other visual communication

  • A combination of all the above?

You will most likely start off with a PowerPoint presentation to each group, unit or hierarchy within the company. For example, the Board of Directors will require a PowerPoint presentation of the long-term top-line parts of the plan. This can easily be done in a 2 hour session, and they will fully understand it.

Middle-level managers on the other hand will have some action points and Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) attached to the strategy and they must get a full understanding of what is required of them. As such, a single PowerPoint presentation session may not be sufficient. You may need to start by first doing a general overview and then drill down by having several other smaller "workshops" so the team can ask questions and express their concerns about the implementation process.

For the operational level, you will need to break it down even further. Simplify the whole conversation, incorporate storytelling to create an emotional connection. Staff need to see themselves within the vision, and they need to feel that they are part of making the dream come true.

Don't limit your communication to PowerPoint slides, meetings, and workshops alone. Further, entrench your values and core strategy in other forms of communication around the organization, you can use screen savers, flyers, and posters at strategic locations. It should also be frequently visited and discussed at every opportunity, share updates, celebrate quick wins and continuously encourage the team by showing how much has been achieved, not just how much is left to be done. Encourage all staff to walk, talk and live the dream.

#4 - Allow and Encourage Questions and Concerns - Kill Rumors as Quickly as Possible

Don't allow rumours or information from the grapevine to prosper. Whenever management gets wind of what's being said through the grapevine, they should address it promptly, professionally, and quickly.

How? Management should avoid acknowledging or mentioning the fact that certain unorthodox information reached them, but simply make clear and bold statements contravening it and provide an accurate update and circulate it quickly, and widely. This can be done through a company-wide official email from an authorized source such as HR or the CEO. In addition, it should also be posted as a memo on all noticeboards. Remember to also provide contact details for anyone who may want to ask questions or require further clarity concerning the matter. An authorized and competent staff should maintain an "open door" to provide this support.

Finally encourage questions and discussion and create a forum for regular feedback. Don't leave staff issues or concerns unattended or ignored. If you do, staff will provide their own answers through assumption and imagination, that is what starts rumours.

#5 - Reinforce and Imbibe the Strategy into the Culture

Make staff walk and talk the strategy into the culture. Let it drive everything they do on a daily basis. Repeat it at every opportunity; business review meetings, trainings, one on one discussions etc. Over time staff will commit the purpose and values to heart and begin to live the strategy. That is where you want them to be so that they can become true ambassadors of the company. They can explain to anybody what the company believes in, the purpose, vision, mission, and values, what the company plans to achieve and where it wants to be in the future.

This is important because one of the best forms of advertisement is referral, and because the staff understand the company so well, they can engage anybody in a conversation about how the company can add value. Your staff can then refer any prospective customer or client to the appropriate quarters to take the discussion further.

From the Managing director to the cleaner or the gate man, every member of your company should have a clear understanding of what you are about and be able to communicate that to people in their immediate sphere of influence.


Written by Lady Shayo Imologome FCA, MBA

Business Growth Strategist, Management Consultant, and Keynote Speaker

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