Executive Coaching Articles

Know Your Company’s Strategy

A recent study of 250 senior executives found only 20 percent believed most of their employees understood their companies’ strategy and what’s needed to succeed in their industry.

Employees who know their companies’ strategies have a powerful advantage over those who don’t.

They are able to:

  • Prioritize more effectively.
  • Make greater contributions to their company’s success.
  • Be viewed by leaders as “big picture” thinkers.

But you must take the initiative because, according to USA Today, an astonishing 95 percent of companies don’t share their strategies with employees!

Three things you can do to embrace your company’s strategy:

  1. Read your company’s annual report, presentations to the investment community, executive speeches or articles from the trade press.
  2. Schedule a meeting with an executive or department head or ask him or her to give an informal presentation about strategy to your work group.
  3. Once you’ve learned your company’s strategy, look for ways to incorporate it in your day-to-day job. Use it as a template when determining how best to spend your time or when prioritizing projects.

Be creative, especially if you’re in a staff group where your company’s strategy might seem totally unrelated to your work. For example, if your company’s goal is to be the industry’s low cost provider, explore ways to trim the cost of the “products” you provide, like reports, training programs, etc. If your firm’s strategy is superior customer service, emphasize improving service to your “internal” customers.

Here’s another way to bring strategy to life: every time you hold a meeting, spend the first two or three minutes explaining how that meeting is related to your company’s key strategy or goals. If you can’t make the link, then cancel the meeting.

Your “big picture” behavior will inspire those around you and capture the attention of your superiors. And, best yet, you may even attend fewer meetings!