FITBIT Your Strategy

We are going to assume that you do HAVE a strategy that is guiding decisions towards some well-defined goals. You aren't just reacting from one crisis to the next, right? OK then, let's look at optimizing that strategy. Get your organizational FITBIT set up.

First, we need to determine how well the strategy is being exercised. You need a method to track the extent that the strategy informs your thought and problem-solving practices every day. Like FITBIT results, that feedback is sometimes shocking and acts as a reminder to extend the desired behavior. Your FITBIT outcomes might help you take the stairs instead of the elevator and you might begin to look for strategic impact in areas you previously thought were routine.

Next, be interested in how far into your surrounding organization the strategy is operative. Who exactly is aware of the strategy and who uses it? How? For what? Is everyone alert to their role in making the strategy function toward organizational goal attainment? Who is rewarded for strategy-relevant action and innovation? Who is taking responsibility for strategic implementation and making that efficient and effective? Strategy is not just for the board and C-suite. For your clients, members and most of the world your organization is as good as your front-line people. Are they clued into the value of the strategy? Do they use it, act on it? Can they? If not, why not?

And, of course, you are monitoring for results, both intended and unintended. This need not be a full-blown research experiment, but you do need a structure and process that will yield dependable and defendable information on an on-going basis for at least as long as the strategy is in effect. Passionate, but data-free, arguments around board tables or supervisors' meetings help no one. People have opinions all the time; leaders look for relevant data before forming their opinions. Regular data will help you know when you are right, and more importantly, when you are wrong.

Lastly, do you expect strategic adjustments to be made based on the observed results? Is this expectation communicated? Do people all the way to the front-line know that you will support them as they innovate in response to results obtained, both good and bad? Do you reward that courage? Courage to invent solutions is particularly tough and particularly necessary when the results are not what had been hoped for or produce unwanted side-effects. Your data monitoring should help identify these heroes. Make sure they are noticed and rewarded and you will generate more of them. Ignore them and you promote disengagement.

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