Winning People Over to Your Strategy

By Nancy Proffitt, President of Proffitt Management Solutions and Proffitt Management Leadership Institute

nancy proffitt photoDeveloping your strategy can be easy compared to executing it.  Leaders can have the difficult task of getting their people to buy in to the strategy. Let’s discuss some solutions to prepare your team for the challenge.

You may have heard me say that only about 5 percent of your staff actually understands your strategy and their role in it. Regardless of the size of your company, it can be very difficult to reach your strategic goals. 

So how do you get your people to work toward your Vision?

Communicate often: Employees can see your strategic initiatives as a "flavor of the month." There is a great deal made about the goals shortly after the plan is created, but then communication wanes after the first few weeks. Communicate your Vision daily and anytime the conversation warrants it.

Change:  Doing things the same way and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Your people have to understand the importance of change relative to them. There is little buy in if they do not understand the benefits they gain relative to the company benefits.

Optimize: Determine what is necessary and value added. All too often leaders tell their people to "work smarter not harder." Work with your people to determine what tasks can be eliminated.

Empower: Give your people direction and let them come up with the solution.  Recently Stanford Hospital did this to find ways to reduce costs.  The results were over $14 MILLION in cost savings!  Your people often know what to do.  Create the focus and give them the power to make the change.

Motivate: What motivates you? Are your people motivated by the same things?  Probably not. Learn what motivates them and how to communicate with them. The results can be increased performance and reduced workplace conflict.

Be Positive: Focus on what you are doing right and work to do more of that.  Problem solvers focus on problems and what is wrong. No matter how well you are doing, the focus will be on what's not right.  Keep your communication focused on what's right and how you can do things better.

Celebrate: We are often quick to point out our failures, but rarely do we celebrate our successes.  Celebrate your successes appropriately.  It doesn't always involve a tangible reward. Ask the people involved how they would like to be recognized.

Keep in mind that we set the example for our employees, so it is incumbent upon each of each as leaders to talk the talk and walk the walk to keep that vision ever present in everyone’s mind.


Nancy Proffitt, MBA, Certified Business Coach, is the president of Proffitt Management Solutions and Proffitt Management Leadership Institute. Click here to check out her blog. She may be reached at 561-682-6060 or by email. Visit her website by clicking here or here. To read her previous column, click here.

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MAY 21, 2009 click to go home
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