Some of the most memorable moments of the Blackadder series were his cunning plans. Plans that were so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. Unfortunately, like in all great comedies, these plans rarely worked out the way Edmund planned despite their cunningness.
Likewise in business, so much time is spent developing a cunning plan that we believe will give us an advantage and deliver for our organisations. And yet, these plans often fail to engage our people and, as a result, don’t deliver on our expectation. There are often two reasons for this:
The strategy is simply too complicated. So often organisations put together a strategy document that is like a manual detailing everything the company needs to do over the next 3-5 years. It reads like grocery list and is very hard to make sense of. .If everything is important, nothing is important.As a result, these strategies rarely deliver
2. Even when an organisation is able to get their strategy down to a page, it is often too intellectually focused. Sure the leadership team that created the strategy get it, but as you try to take it through an organisation it typically gets less and less traction the further down you go. In business we speak intellectually but as people we engage emotionally. So once again, the strategy often doesn’t stick.
In order for a strategy to stick it needs to engage people emotionally.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to make your strategy stick, is to turn your strategy into a compelling story.
In doing this you take your strategy from being something intellectual to something emotional. You are able to speak to people the way they want to be spoken to about things that matter to them.
Turning your strategy int a compelling story enables you to take people on a journey, one that they are a part of and that they can see themselves in. It also allows you to not only talk about your past but to create a compelling story about the future and demonstrate the important role each person in your organsiation plays in the journey.
Most importantly, turning your strategy into a compelling story gives your “cunning plan” every chance at success.