At the end of all High Growth strategic workshops we allocate time to developing a communication plan on how to share the vision and strategy with the wider team.
Communicating your strategic plan and vision just one time is not going to be enough. You need to constantly and consistently engage your team in the direction of the business, and continuously communicate why and how you are wanting to go there.
You’ve probably been to a presentation where immediately after you were energised. Maybe that excitement lasted a week, but more than likely the enthusiasm faded and the message was almost entirely forgotten.
The same things happen with your strategic plan. Your leadership team and your staff might be very excited a few days after the strategic planning session, but it’s your responsibility to keep the excitement alive with your team. To do that you need a communication strategy for your plan and your vision.
Here are 5 ideas to consider as you develop your communication strategy for your strategic plan:
- Get clear on what you’re sharing
Once you and your management team complete your strategic planning meeting, take a bit of time to get together to align your communication strategy.
What are you going to share, what are you not going to share, and what are you going to say? You want everyone to be sharing the same messages. It’s not to sound the same; it’s to have a consistent message that doesn’t confuse people.
- Look at your existing communication ‘rhythm’
You are probably already having regular meetings and have established a communication rhythm of how you share information. You can use those existing systems to communicate reminders about the vision, strategic priorities and goals.
- Everyone remembers things differently
Some people like images, some people are engaged with video, and others prefer to listen. Keep in mind that there is no substitute for one-on-one conversations. Context and enthusiasm can not be duplicated in text, and if you’re to get people excited about your plan you need to do it with human interaction.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition
When it comes to sharing a future that isn’t real to people yet, you need to get share the message until it is real for them. A vision is a very conceptual thing for people, and they won’t know how you created that future vision because they weren’t in the meeting with you. You may need to explain why the company is going to this place and you might have to spend some time to elaborate on what that place is going to look like.
- Don’t just talk, listen too
When we talk about creating a communication plan for your strategy, what comes to mind is how are we going to broadcast the plan and get the message in people’s heads.
While that is true, one tactic that will make the process easier is checking in with your team to see what they hear and how it compares with what you’re sharing. Maybe they have questions, maybe they have concerns, and maybe they want to figure out how they fit in to the plan.