City Slickers Meets the World of Strategic Planning – Part 2, the Response
Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 02:08PM
[Your Name Here] in Change Management, Engagement, Group Methods, Strategy, Strategy, Vision, strategy to execution

It’s actively engaging employees in the cascading of goals from the top of the organization to the front-lines. 

Why is this so powerful?  By getting a larger group of people involved you’ll get more energy.  Information will flow faster.  And by challenging the people to connect the strategy to their daily work, they can ask better questions to really understand the strategy, and then come up with creative ways to support it.  And they then own these tactics to implement the new strategy, because the helped create them. 
I’ve found groups are best to accomplish this – instead of just having a series of one-on-ones with people from the top of the organization to the bottom – because conversation flows more freely in groups, people can build on each other’s ideas, and diverse perspectives generate a more robust solution because people are thinking together.




Here are three ways to do this. You can follow general formats of previously proven templates, like the Balanced Scorecard where people set goals in support of the new strategy, in a cascading fashion from organizational top to bottom, for the four categories, of Customer, Process, Learning & Growth, and Financial.   Diverse companies such as Mobil Oil, Philips Electronics, CIGNA Property & Casualty have successfully used this process in the past. You can also follow a cascading path from top to bottom of the organization based on a semi-structured set of conversations.  Group events like World Café, Learning Maps (in which pictures and structured questions stimulate group conversations), and Open Space can get you there.  Organizations like Hewlett-Packard, Pepsico, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center have used conversation-based approached. 

Or, you might feel your organization has very unique needs, and decide to design a customized strategy roll-out engagement plan. You might want to start from scratch, or take a look at existing templates and develop a hybrid that you feel meet your unique needs.  Such sessions can be fun, highly creative inducing, and quite financially rewarding for the company.   A wide variety of organizations have gone the “custom design” route to connect strategy to execution.


image credit: istockphoto

Article originally appeared on Tom Devane & Associates, Inc. (
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