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Tom Devane is a consultant, author, and co-author of provocative bestselling books on achieving extraordinary results using methods that systematically engage people in organizations and communities.
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    « City Slickers Meets the World of Strategic Planning – Part 2, the Response | Main | What Do We Do with Change Readiness Information? »

    City Slickers Meets the World of Strategic Planning – Part 3, a Reprieve of the Just ONE THING Limitation

    The sr vp nodded, seemed to like the answer, and then said, “Okay, you’ve told me what needs to be done, now what’s the ONE THING that will maximize my likelihood of success for this engagement-based cascading approach?”

    I silently thought, Great!  Here’s my chance to add at least one more Thing to that previously lonely item of one advice tidbit for strategy roll-out.

    I replied, You’ll greatly increase the likelihood of your success if you set up one or more teams to plan to roll-out the cascade, support its implementation, and follow-up on its effectiveness.  Teams can provide an ongoing energy, consistency of purpose, and mutual accountability for moving forward that it’s hard to duplicate with just a single, or handful of  talented individual operating independently.  Having a team involved from the start also sets the stage, and helps introduce and model the expected behaviors that this roll-out will be a group activity, that it involves more than just the current inner circle of execs.



    Don’t just assemble a group of people and call them a team.  Set up conditions for the team to grow together, and capitalize on their diverse perspectives.  Actually carve out some time for the team to get acquainted, do some planning, set some goals, and go through some team-building efforts.  You’ll get a higher quality product in the end than if you just periodically gather the same bunch of people in a room to “work on that strategy cascading thing.”

    Even though it’s a top-down driven strategy roll-out, on the team consider having a few people from lower levels in the organization.  They’ll be able to provide some practical perspectives, on “what will play in Peoria” or whatever parts of the organization they live and work in.  And the groups they represent will really appreciate that they were included, and this can pay substantial dividends in the strategy execution phase.

    From Day 1, help the team create a feedback-rich environment.  From personal experience, and from Carl Larsen’s research with over 6,000 team members, one of the toughest things teams have to deal with is providing and being open to feedback, so the team can grow and perform at its highest potential.  But luckily it’s also one of the most easily addressed -- if it’s addressed early.

    *         *        *


    Pretty cool questions from that vp, thought I’d share them with everybody in the last three posts.  Would love to hear your thoughts on what’s worked for you in cascading strategy throughout your organization.  What’s been your experience?

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