Your company strategy can only succeed if your employees believe in it
Every organisation’s goal is to have a clear strategy. A strategy employees believe in. A strategy that its customers feel in the customer experience they get. And yet many companies struggle with their strategies. Convincing and motivating employees to really support their company strategy remains a challenge for them. Why is that? During our CHRO breakfast session, David Ducheyne explained why most business strategies fail.
As a consultant, David Ducheyne sees a striking similarity between two types of strategies: business strategies and corona strategies. Like business strategies, corona strategies in different countries have a goal (reducing the number of infections), a certain approach (rules to be followed) and unfortunately ... a similar result. We achieve with varying degrees of success what we have in mind: making people comply with the strategy. People who are really convinced of the importance of the strategy.
Why are some strategies unsuccessful? Why do we, as citizens and as employees, not behave how we should behave? Four factors can make a strategy succeed or fail:
- Clarity: we think that the objective of our corona strategy is clear – reducing the number of infections – but is our strategy as clear as we think it is? The rules change constantly. Since when does the lack of clarity help us?
- Motivation: during the corona crisis, policymakers use figures to convince us to limit our daily contacts. Companies use the same strategy: they rely on figures to motivate us and often define strategies from a business perspective. Can figures really motivate us?
- Context: companies expect us to behave in a certain way, but they do not always create the right context for this. We experienced this during the corona crisis: we were supposed to wear mouth masks, but the mouth masks were not delivered in time ...
- Leadership: leaders often have different visions or even fundamentally disagree with each other. Virologists, academics and policymakers contradict each other. Consequence: clear leadership is lacking, we don't know who to believe. Can leaders create unity when they themselves disagree?
There are a lot of examples of bad strategies. But how can you make a good strategy? In David's opinion, a strategy will only succeed when we align behaviour, leadership and context (culture and processes). Apple is a company that succeeds in doing this. Apple has a clear leader in Tim Cook (or in Steve Jobs in the past) and gives its customers a consistent customer experience because its employees are all passionate about technology and because of that passion they almost automatically carry out the strategy. They believe in Apple's strategy.