How to Get Your Team to Fully Commit to the Strategy

Picture of leaders starting at a strategic plan to Team to Fully Commit to the Strategy

Would You Like Your Team to Fully Commit to the Strategy?
Smart leaders know it is imperative to get their team to fully commit to the strategy.  And our organizational alignment research backs them up.  Strategy clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of:

  • Revenue growth
  • Profitability
  • Customer loyalty
  • Employee engagement

Strategic Commitment Is Different Than Strategic Agreement
Getting your team to fully commit to the strategy is different than having your team generally agree with the strategic direction.  For strategic clarity to occur, you need so much more than your team’s simple “okay.” You need your team to fully commit their hearts and their minds to the strategy by devoting

  • their time
  • their energy
  • their resources
  • their influence

Without strategic commitment, new strategies often falter in the face of change and uncertain outcomes.

Seven Ways to Measure Strategic Commitment Levels
If you want your team to fully commit to the strategy, you need to talk with each leader to make sure that they:

  1. Clearly understand the strategy
  2. Buy into the rationale for the plan
  3. Believe in the necessity of executing the strategy for the good of the business
  4. Believe in the necessity of executing the strategy for the good of their team
  5. Believe in the necessity of executing the strategy for the good of themselves
  6. Are willing to hold themselves and their teams accountable for implementation
  7. Feel that the strategic direction is implementable in your unique corporate culture and your unique marketplace

Do Not Begin Strategy Execution Until You Have Strategic Commitment
If you sense hesitation or disagreement from anyone on the leadership team, now is the time to uncover it…before one of your leaders knowingly or unknowingly sabotages the effort. It may just be a matter of giving them time to adjust to the changing situation. Remember, change never comes easily, and you must realistically expect some resistance.

How to Bring Around Strategic Naysayers
If you encounter naysayers, you may need to try to bring them around with more than a persuasive discussion or compelling data.  Try taking them on a journey of discovery. Let them experience the difference between doing things the old way and what it will feel and look like doing things according to the new strategic plan.

Three Examples of a Journey to Improve Strategic Commitment

If Your Strategy Is Based on a Shift to Sell Solutions Instead of Products

  • Go on a sales call with a rep that sells the “old way.”  Then go on a sales call with a rep that sells the “new way.”  Discuss the differences in how the customer perceives your brand and what it means for the business in the short- and long-term.
  • Visit customers who have bought products.  Then visit customers who have bought solutions.  What is the difference between the buyers, the relationships, the perceived value and the compelling event that triggered the purchase?
  • Visit other companies outside of your industry that have already transitioned to selling solutions.  What can you learn from them?
  • What changes in behavior are required to market and sell the new way?
  • What are the risks to selling the old way?
  • Give your team opportunities to experience, at the customer level, how business will be different and what it means for them and their teams.

If Your Strategy Is Based On Improving Customer Satisfaction,

  • Take your team on a tour of the contact center.
  • Show them the difference between a call where the rep had to pass along a customer from one level to another (insert any phone company here) and where the rep was given authority to simply and quickly solve the customer’s problem (think Zappos).
  • It is easy to see how one interaction ends up with a frustrated customer and the other with a loyal customer.
  • What does that mean for the business?
  • What changes in behavior will result in more satisfying customer interactions?
  • Give your team opportunities to experience, at the customer level, how business results will be improved and discuss what it means for them and their teams.

If Your Strategy is Based On Engaging and Retaining Top Talent

  • Let’s say your strategy calls for raising the skill levels of your middle managers to better engage and retain top talent.
  • Identify some real-life management scenarios that show the “before” and the “after.”
  • Let employees experience the frustration of being managed poorly and the greater motivation of an employee who is managed well.

The Bottom Line
To help you team to fully commit to the strategy, you may need to take your team out of the board room and into the trenches.  Ask hesitant leaders what specifically they would need to have happen to champion the new strategies.  Then work with them to make it a reality.

To learn more about creating strategic commitment, download 5 Expert-Tips to Better Communicate Your Strategy

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