Why You Need to Care About Strategy — Even If Your CEO Doesn’t

Do you believe in the strategy of your organization?

Indeed, do you know the strategy of the organization as espoused by leadership? More importantly, should you even care if your executives don’t?

A recent blog post on Switch & Shift revealed these disturbing statistics:

  • 54 percent of executives “didn’t fully believe in the strategy of their organization” (Booz & Company);
  • 52 percent of employees don’t believe their senior executives are committed to organization’s overall vision and mission (Root, Inc., and Kelton Group)

Achieving the strategy through daily efforts

If your executive leadership doesn’t fully believe in the strategy of the organization, how can they possibly inspire others to care about achieving that strategic mission, too?

Think about the stated strategic goals of your organization. Now think about the senior leader of your group. Does that person make achieving that strategy possible through the daily efforts of your team? If not, it’s important to understand why not. Do they not believe in the strategy itself or do they just do a poor job of communicating the strategy and how each employee can contribute to achieving it?

This is an important distinction. A senior executive who doesn’t believe in the strategy of the organization needs to be dealt with, but that’s not within the control of those who work for him or her.

If the executive simply cannot communicate well how others’ work contributes to achieving the strategy, then there are ways to bridge the gap – primarily through others on the team (at every level) looking for ways to positively reinforce and recognize others when they contribute to achieving the strategic objectives.

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Employees need to care  — even if executives don’t

Should employees be accountable for achieving the overall vision and mission if their senior leaders are not? As unfair as it may sound, yes.

Each individual is employed with the implicit contract of working to achieve the company’s goals. Being fully engaged in contributing to this success does become harder without senior executive buy-in, but it’s certainly possible, especially if peers and colleagues take on the role of encouraging and appreciating others in their efforts to do so.

Does your senior leader believe in the strategic mission of your organization? Do you?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is senior vice president of client strategy and consulting at Workhuman, where he leads the company’s consulting and analytics divisions. His writing is regularly featured across major HR publications, including HR Magazine, Human Resource Executive, HR Zone, and Workspan.