It’s summer here, at least in the northern part of the hemisphere where I live. For a handful of months each year we get to enjoy warmth, sunshine, and all of the things that are great about summer – let’s go Blue Jays! (Lol)
I find that as a result of summer holidays, extended weekends, and a desire for most executives and business owners to take more time away from the office, that the initiatives, projects, and corporate strategy all tend to slow down or get shelved for a number of months.
Is this happening in your organization?
It was only two weeks ago when I met with a CEO and asked her how her team was progressing against their strategic objectives, that she confided that they had put the strategy on hold for the summer months.
Wait… Did I hear that correctly?
If a strategy is meant to be the plan to achieve your desired future for the organization, how can you decide in good conscience to put the strategy on hold? That’s like saying that my car has a flat tire, but because we are doing a lot of driving in the coming weeks I don’t have time to fix the tire. It simply doesn’t make sense.
I’d even go so far as to suggest you reduce the level of service to customers (i.e. fewer hours staffing a retail outlet or telephone center) before you ever put the strategy on hold – and I’m sure you know that I would rarely ever suggest you reduce the level of service to customers.
It strikes me that those CEOs and executives that have decided to set their strategy aside for a few months have failed to consider that what they are doing is not only delaying momentum and progress, but they are sending a message, often inadvertently, to everyone across the organization that the strategy is not nearly as important as other more tactical daily priorities.
Is this the message you want to send? My guess is not.
So consider these ideas, a few of which I shared with the CEO I referenced above, in order to ensure you sustain momentum behind the pursuit of your strategic objectives during the lazy days of summer.
- Set small rewards that combine enjoying the outdoors with achieving actions set out in the strategic plan. For example, those who complete their actions for the month get to participate in a company barbecue or possibly some lawn bowling… Although I’ve never lawn bowled personally, I hear it’s an interesting sport.
- Hold strategy meetings outdoors, allowing employees to enjoy the warmth and sunshine, while bringing new energy to placing momentum behind their action plans. After all, Vitamin D is known to increase our energy and general demeanor.
- Take a field trip to visit a friendly competitor or complimentary business who is highly successful in achieving their strategic objectives, or who has actually achieved some of the objectives you are striving to achieve (if you’d like some contacts, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
My point is simple…
[Tweet “Summer is a time to relax; however, it is NOT a time to ease up on your strategic objectives.”]
That is unless achieving your desired future isn’t that important to you or your team?
© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.