4 Reasons You MUST Include Your People In Your Strategy

And Their Takeaways When You Do

When churches approach me about communication coaching, more often than not they are focused on the how – and that’s ok because how is crucial. How do we communicate to our people effectively? How do we use our tools like video, email, social media, etc….? How do we decide what to communicate and when? All good.

Hand drawing a game strategy with white chalk on a blackboard.

(Sidebar, looking at this image, I am SO JONESING for football right now. Fall can’t get here soon enough :-) )

And I love to talk about that stuff. Huge part of what we do. But HOW is irrelevant if your WHAT isn’t on target. The first question has to be WHAT do we need/want to communicate? If one of your top 3 answers isn’t strategy, then you’ve got a problem, and you desperately need to keep reading.

Here’s the interesting thing about strategy: Success doesn’t come from the strategy itself. Success comes from the flawless execution of that strategy. And when you’re leading a large organization, you cannot execute a strategy all by yourself. It requires the whole organization, all cylinders firing together, every person doing their job. And for that to happen they have to be IN on the strategy. The level of effectiveness for your strategy will be equal to the level of understanding and buy-in from your organization. You want 100% success? Then you must have 100% buy-in and understanding. And that will only happen if you’re communicating your strategy well.

There’s absolutely nothing but upside when you let your people in on your strategy.  I want to show you 4 incredible takeaways that happen for your people when you communicate strategy effectively.

  1. They will TAKE ISSUE – Wait a minute Mark – I thought you said these were good things? No, no, wait, you said incredible! I did and I do! When you communicate your strategy (or vision, mission, purpose, whatever) effectively some people won’t like it. Their values or goals may not line up with yours. Guess what? THAT’S OKAY. They need to go. They will do nothing but get in the way, create drama, and slow you down. That’s not fun for you and not good for them. Clarity in these areas accelerates that process and eliminates the people that you don’t want. That is an incredibly good thing. Would you rather have 1000 people where 300 of them aren’t really on board or 700 that are totally on board? That’s what I thought.
  2. They will TAKE COMFORT – People take great comfort when they know why and how we’re doing what we’re doing as an organization. And even greater, when they know their role in that strategy, it gives them purpose, which translates to peace, contentment, and security. Who’s going to be more effective – the soldier who is told what to do and never why – or the soldier who understands exactly what he’s fighting for and why, and understands there is a very intentional strategy in place?
  3. They will TAKE OWNERSHIP – When your people understand all of the above, and realize they are crucial – even critical – to the success of the organization and it’s goals, they will take ownership. They will solve problems on their own. They will take responsibility. They will lead more effectively. They will protect the organization. They will become cheerleaders and evangelists for the cause.
  4. They will TAKE PRIDE – When people understand what’s at stake and the strategy to win, and own their role inside of that process – when that win happens they take enormous pride in having been a part of it. Even more so when you celebrate their roles and their fruit. This step is something we all talk about a lot – celebrating the wins – but most churches never follow through. It is CRUCIAL that we don’t miss this step. The more and better we do this, the more enthusiastic your people are to accept your challenges over and over again. Everyone likes to be on a winning team. And they love to be recognized as integral to the success of that team.

Love to hear your thoughts and comments. Hit me up on Twitter @MarkClement. #Strategy. Word to your mother.