It isn’t enough to tell people what you want

In 1979, Ted Kennedy, brother of the assassinated President John Kennedy, was asked this straightforward question during an interview with CBS Newsman Roger Mudd.

“Why do you want to be President?”

Kennedy couldn’t come up with a straightforward answer. He couldn’t express why he wanted people to elect him President, and that was the end of Ted Kennedy’s candidacy.

Too often, I’ve seen a company CEO clearly communicate WHAT the company strategy is and HOW he and his team want it implemented without explaining WHY it’s the strategy.

When people don’t understand why they are being asked to take action, they will fill in the blanks with their best guess. Often their guess is that this latest directive is just another waste of their time that will eventually fade away and can safely be ignored.

Effective communication is a key element of implementing your strategic plan. Strategy is about taking actions today that are consistent with creating the company’s visualization of the future. Investing time and focus today in the expectation of a better tomorrow impacts people’s ability to deal with their immediate, tactical challenges. People will focus all their energy on today’s challenges if they don’t have a clear sense of WHY they need to make today’s life more difficult by spending time on implementing strategic goals.

If you’re interested in having a facilitated strategic planning meeting that moves you from concept to tangible implementation, check out our service offerings online, contact us, by email or better yet, give us a call at (800) 207-8192 to arrange for a complementary consultation to determine if you are ready for strategic planning and if our program is right for you.

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