You and your team have gone through the process of creating a strategic plan, and now you need a strategy for how you're going to share the plan with your team and stakeholders.
Communicating your vision, mission, and strategy one time is not enough. You need to constantly and consistently engage your team in the direction of the organization and continuously communicate how you (the people and the organization) will get there and why this is important.
You've probably been to a presentation where immediately afterwards you were super fired up. Maybe that excitement lasted a week, but more than likely the enthusiasm faded and the message was almost entirely forgotten.
The same things happen with your strategic plan. Your leadership team and your staff might be very excited a few days after the strategic planning session, but it's your responsibility to keep the excitement alive with your team. To do that you need a communication strategy for your plan and your vision that will help the team remain engaged and increase the likelihood for successful implementation.
Here are 5 things to consider as you develop your communication strategy for your strategic plan:
1. Get clear on what you're sharing
Once you and your management team complete your strategic planning meeting, take a bit of time to get together to align your communication strategy.
What are you going to share, what are you not going to share, and what are you going to say? You want everyone to be sharing the same messages. It's not to sound the same; it's to have a consistent message that doesn't confuse people.
Host an all hands meeting and start the roll out of your strategic plan. That means not only sharing the plan in this one meeting, but by using all the communication channels you have at your disposal.
2. Look at your existing structures
You are probably already having regular meetings and have established a communication structure of how you share information. You can use those existing systems to communicate reminders about the vision, mission, strategic priorities and goals.
Maybe that's through weekly or monthly meetings, or maybe you have social events or a newsletter. Try to be creative and engaging with how you share your messages.
3. Understand that everyone remembers things differently
You may thing that Slack is the best communications tool since ICQ, but that doesn't mean you want to share your strategic plan exclusively on there. Some people like images, some people are engaged with video, and others prefer to listen. Keep in mind that there is no substitute for one-on-one conversations. Context and enthusiasm can not be duplicated in text, and if you're to get people excited about your plan you need to do it with human interaction.
Listen to our podcast to get some best practices for sharing your strategic plan with your team:
4. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
When it comes to sharing a future that isn't real to people yet, you need to get share the message until it is real for them. A vision is a very conceptual thing for people, and they won't know how you created that future vision because they weren't in the meeting with you.
You may need to explain why the company is going to this place and you might have to spend some time to elaborate on what that place is going to look like. Keep the goals alive in the minds of your people, and it will help them know when you are taking the right steps to get there.
5. Don't just talk; listen too
When we talk about creating a communication plan for your strategy, what comes to mind is how are we going to broadcast the plan and get the message in people's heads.
While that is true, one tactic that will make the process easier is checking in with your team to see what they hear and how it compares with what you're sharing. Maybe they have questions, maybe they have concerns, and maybe they want to figure out how they fit in to the plan.
If all you do is talk, you may miss the opportunity to get your team engaged with and bought into your strategic plan.
Is your organization starting the strategic planning process, or revising its existing strategy?
Learn how working with a facilitator can maximize the benefits of your upcoming strategy session: