Leaders must relentlessly communicate the agency’s strategy and vision to ensure a shared understanding. Successful strategy relies on leaders who constantly communicate the agency’s vision and strategy to staff, customers and key stakeholders. Great change leaders translate the strategic narrative into relevant messages for the particular audience, creating a shared understanding and building engagement across the agency and with stakeholders.
The strategy map might not make sense to everyone. Leaders need to create their own compelling messages about the agency’s strategic imperatives and communicate these regularly and consistently. Setting and communicating clear goals and expectations helps to create a shared understanding of the agency’s strategic direction, and ensures staff and key stakeholders understand what is expected of them.
To successfully execute strategy, leaders need to ensure that staff, customers and key stakeholders understand what the agency is trying to achieve, and what their role is in this vision. Successful strategy implementation relies on senior leaders:
- Relentlessly communicating the strategy, sharing the decision context and rationale to facilitate buy-in
- Facilitating forums or infrastructure for 2-way communication around key messages – many agencies use change agent networks to communicate directly and as needed with the coal face
- Listening to feedback from staff, customers and stakeholders, and responding to concerns
- Measuring and reviewing effectiveness of communication channels, and taking steps to address any shortfalls to ensure everyone is on the same page
- Check engagement regularly and respond if it starts to fall.
Critically, leaders need to anticipate parts of the strategic journey where tough decisions are required. In these circumstances, senior leaders should monitor and measure the organisation’s ability to absorb change, and their readiness for change. Based on this information, senior leaders need to prepare the plans and communication strategies required to help staff, customers and stakeholders understand the change and support them through the transition.