Roy's Blog

October 29, 2009

How to get every employee totally committed

A colleague of mine, Ron Cox, Founder and CEO of Tailwind Consulting in Tampa Florida says that “a staggering 95% of employees in a company are either unaware of or do not understand the strategy”.

No wonder execution fails!

He points out something that somehow never gets dealt with. Corporate leaders go on a retreat and create a ‘helium filled strategy’ to get them to the next level and stops short of figuring out HOW it will be executed.

This is more than just defining the critical tactics and objectives to be accomplished by various people who are accountable.


It is about translating the strategy into what it means to each function involved in delivering it. What specifically should the call center rep do differently? The product analyst? The sales person? The internal audit manager?

If at the most granular level each employee in the firm doesn’t know how to behave and what results to produce within the context of the new direction change will simply not happen and improved results expected by the new strategic game plan won’t be achieved.

Line of Sight to the strategy means what it implies; each employee can “see” the strategy from their position and they understand what they need to do to contribute to the strategy.

Line of sight eliminates the problem of people not understanding the strategy since the translation to individuals cannot be done in the absence of such an understanding.

How do leaders establish Line of Sight in their organization?

Workshops. Workshops. And more Workshops with each functional unit.

The idea is to have the leader present the new strategy to a group of employees in the same work group and have THEM come up with the specific behaviors and deliverables necessary to conform to the strategy. Leaders must approve their conclusions otherwise synergy and consistency will be in jeopardy.

Arduous work? Painfully detailed work? Time consuming work? Yes on all counts, but what about the payoff? How much are you willing to invest to see your strategy executed flawlessly and results improve by orders of magnitude relative to your competitors?

I hope you said ‘Whatever it takes!’

This what leadership is all about.

Its not just creating the vision, for without the means to realize it the ‘brave idea’ it remains an illusion. Leaders must get down and dirty to establish Line of Sight for all people in their organization; if they don’t they are wasting their visionary time unless they (and their shareholders/owners) see everlasting value in pontification.


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  • Posted 10.29.09 at 08:38 pm by Roy Osing
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