It has never stopped to amaze me how some of my big corporate clients spend hundreds of thousands of euros to bring together their topmanagement in fancy, extremely well organized events to bring strategic inspiration, direction and engagement to leaders in the organization without embedding these events into a continuous flow of triggers that ensures that leadership inspiration is translated into a shared ambition and collective actions. Most of these corporates do know how to work in disciplined processes though; they have yearly financial, HR and supply chain processes with clear deadlines, roles, inputs and outputs.
How come there is no consistent, connected and continuous process of bringing strategy into hearts, minds and behavior of people in organisations? I am not debating that well organized and fancy looking topmanagement events do bring inspiration and connectedness (Who does not like to stay in 5-star hotels and be treated like a star?) I just believe that they could yield a much higher impact in terms of shared ambition, pride and engagement, if they were embedded into a more continuous process through which leaders are triggered (more regularly) to engage into actions derived from the inspiration they got through the event.
The road from strategy (aka plans, objectives, priorities, projects...) towards behaviour is a challenging one; there are quite some roadblocks like no shared vision in the executive team, silos created by the organisational structure, a defensive culture or stress, an overload of initiatives and just plain tiredness among key people are some of them just to mention a few. On the image are the paradoxes that I recognise most organisations struggle with in the process from vision and strategy towards people. Below are some principles to bridge these paradoxes and connect strategy with hearts, minds and behaviour of people in your organisation:
Making strategy touch hearts, minds and behavior of people needs to be an ongoing flow. Like couples are never done renewing their love and connectedness with each other, an organisation is never done working on the connection between its ambition and the hearts, minds and actions people take.
How do you engage people towards your vision and ambition?
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Katharina Schmidt is the founder of Inspiration & Discipline. She wants to bring strategic inspiration, love & execution discipline to people in organisations.