If you are a team leader of any type, you have a unique role to play when it comes to ensuring the Strategic Plan gets executed successfully. Your knowledge of the plan could be the difference between your own team’s success or failure, and that could be the difference between the organization’s success or failure. This is why it is essential that you know which parts of the plan matter most to your team. Refer to them often in meetings and conversations; highlight, underline, and dog-ear them in your copy of the plan. And carry the plan with you almost everywhere you go.
This is the heart of the issue: A day should never pass without some reference to the plan. Your knowledge of the plan will be used in a number of ways. First, to bring clarity to the whole team about their role in accomplishing the organization’s priorities. Next, if you are a leader, it is your responsibility to connect the dots between the mission and the Strategic Plan and each team member’s role. Remember, the mission is unchanging and the Strategic Plan is just the way the organization has chosen to accomplish its mission right now. It will change.
Ask people how their daily work impacts the plan. If they don’t know, explain it. Culture Advocates are always trying to get clear about their own role, as well as helping others get clear about their roles. Role clarity is one of the central pieces of building and sustaining a Dynamic Culture.
“But what if the dots don’t connect?” I get this question a lot. “I work in the accounting department and there is no priority in that new Strategic Plan that impacts my role or department.” This may appear to be true sometimes, but it never is, and a seasoned leader of people cannot fall into this trap. It is a morale killer and a creator of subcultures (which are a disease unto themselves).
As an organization grows, there is a certain amount of maintenance that needs to be done to push the mission forward. That maintenance work is essential, but it doesn’t always feel essential to the people doing it. It doesn’t come with huge accolades and is often unappreciated. Although if, for example, you were the payroll person, if you didn’t pay people next pay period, I suspect th