Every great company or organization should have a high-level strategy that can be explained in two minutes or less. A company’s strategy is the blueprint to success, and a great strategy helps connect every single employee to the vision of the company’s growth.
A strategy is not a mission statement. A strategy is a clearly-defined path to growth and financial success over a set period of time. Your strategy should explain how you acquire customers, how you monetize them, and the key differentiators of your business. In short, your strategy is the reason that you’ll be successful in the market.
Anyone who works at Punchbowl has heard me discuss our company’s strategy countless times. During any significant meeting, I’ll repeat our strategy with the same slides, even if I’ve shown them before. Fairly often in these meetings, I’ll ask someone to explain our strategy in their own words. I believe the best way to learn is to put the concepts in your own words — it’s a powerful thing to listen to someone else describe the company’s strategy. No one is immune from being asked to repeat the strategy — from the developers to the business people, and even the intern. Most would agree that I repeat our strategy a lot — sometimes to the point of annoyance. In fact, it’s become a company joke to laugh at some of the pictures I use over and over again to make my point. To me, this just tells me that I’ve done a good job at getting everyone on the same page.
So why do I repeat the strategy so often? Well, here are my top 5 reasons you must repeat your strategy:
1) Get everyone on the same page: Whether your company is big or small, it’s important to make sure everyone understands the high-level strategy. Repetition is one way to make this happen.
2) Build ownership: The more each individual in the company feels ownership of the strategy, the more buy-in each person will feel in the company’s overall success. That’s a great way to build team unity.
3) Guide small decisions: There are countless small decisions your employees make everyday. If everyone truly understands the strategy, then all of these decisions will be made with your objectives in mind.
4) Keep your employees on message: Each employee is a window to the outside world. As you repeat your strategy, you’re also helping shape how your employees talk about the company with the outside world. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool — and strategy is an important part of your overall message.
5) Impart your vision: As I’ve written before, great managers are the ones that can step away from the office for a week at a time and know that the team is moving the company forward. As CEO, my vision and the company’s strategy are closely aligned. That makes it easier to take time off and re-charge.
It’s not good enough to have a strategy — you have to repeat it very often so that every stakeholder in your organization knows it well. Spend time clearly articulating the strategy so that every single person in your organization knows what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. In my opinion, it’s one of the qualities of an effective leader.