Rather than focusing on why a corporate initiative flunked (which is usually the result of one (or a combination) of the following: 1. Lack of financial resources or 2. Lack of commitment/engagement to make it happen in the first place), why not shift our focus on holding Boards and/or Executives accountable for changing the language in which strategy is defined as something that the Boards and/or Executives are accountable for (by demanding regular reporting on robust strategic engagement at all levels within an organisation) as its not enough to just sign-off on budgets and strategic initiatives, then hand ball over to middle management to implement. Boards and Executives continue to make the fatal mistake of failing to engage their worker ants…the middle management that make any change possible due to their visibility/exposure as well as interaction between the top and bottom levels of an organisation.
This lack of engagement from the onset leads to lack of empowerment, and a lack of feeling like they are part of the business. Since the strategic focus becomes the business plan it’s not just a nice to have. Organisations need to shift the old mentality of ‘strategy is an airy fairy discussion’….let’s focus on the real job….. the day to day operations…delivering short-term results, etc. Understanding an organisation’s business strategy is a core and vital process for all involved, in order to ensure its viability. The language used to define it within organisations must shift, it’s not something that is delegated to Boards alone…it is everyone’s responsibility to understand it and help drive it for the long-term.