4 Challenges In Communicating Your Business Strategy

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The Article 4 Challenges In Communicating Your Business Strategy is a guest blog by John Courtney of Boardroom Advisors. For more information, check out his bio at the end.

Business owners venture into scaling up because they see a potential to expand the business exponentially. It can be rewarding, but it would also need a lot of preparation to get to where they want the business to be. One aspect that requires much attention is communicating your business strategy to your team.

Your business strategy is the core of your scaleup plans. It defines the vision for the business and the specific actions on how to get there. You, and perhaps a dedicated number of key people, spent time and effort developing the business strategy, so it is easy for you to understand. However, to put the plans into action, you will have to explain it comprehensively to everyone else involved in the business operations. This includes the Board of Directors, managers and team leaders, and the rest of your staff.

communicating business strategy to board and members

Whether you have a small group of people or are looking to include more employees along the way, how you communicate the business strategy is important. At the end of the day, everyone that’s taking part in the scaleup should be aligned on the same shared goal so that the steps taken are all in one aligned direction — the one dictated by your business strategy.

“The dissemination of the business strategy to your employees does not equate to a simple presentation or discussion that you do only once. It requires constant communication efforts that are relayed not just through words, but also actions. All the projects you launch, objectives you set, or next steps the company takes 一 employees should see how they translate to your business strategy.”

Here are some challenges you can anticipate when communicating your business strategy and how you can overcome them.

4 Challenges to Overcome When Communicating Your Business Strategy

1.     Ensuring there is mutual understanding of the business strategy

People may have different interpretations of the business’ overall strategy if this is not clearly communicated during board meetings and other alignment efforts. Just saying that you want to launch new products or rebrand is not enough, since a good amount of context on the business strategy is missing here. This can cause miscommunication in the long run. Being specific with the reason behind a strategy and how it can impact the scaling up process can help employees understand the strategy from the business leaders’ standpoint. 

Framing it from the employees’ standpoint can also help convey the message. A board member vs. an associate in the finance department vs. people from the operations department may all process information differently, so be mindful of the words and terminologies you use when communicating with them. They have different concerns and objectives in the business, after all. Explaining the business strategy while taking into consideration their perspective is just as essential.

2.     Getting everyone to connect with the business goals and objectives

While having your staff understand the strategy is important, you also need them to connect with it. Make it easier for them to see how they are crucial to achieving the end goal and how they can benefit from it, not just the business. It’s not enough to have people chase after a goal. This task would be a lot easier to achieve if each employee establishes or strengthens a deeper connection and appreciation to the business’ goal.

Setting up designated metrics and milestones can greatly contribute to this as well. Employees know what the aim is, but how do they get there? How will their specific role in the company help achieve that? Giving them short-, medium-, and long-term key performance indicators can guide them in the direction they should be moving to. And once they reach those, it can give a mutual sense of accomplishment for them and for the business.

3.     Staying on track with the strategic direction

Veering away from the business direction that is already laid out will be confusing for many and could be detrimental to the business, so as much as possible, stay on track with what you planned out. Granted, changes may happen, but the destination should still be the same. You have to be set in the strategic direction that everyone is aligned on. If an adjustment needs to be made, be transparent on why it’s vital and how it meets with the end goal.

To make things easier for everyone, especially the company’s leaders, regularly revisiting and aligning on the business strategy, its metrics, and its scope can help everyone keep an eye on what needs to be monitored and measured. When something is underperforming, it can signal that something needs to be fixed or improved.

business strategy meeting
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

There also needs to be alignment among teams, departments, and management. It doesn’t need to be done every day, but it should be conducted regularly enough to make sure that everyone is still in sync with the strategic direction.

4.     Listening to feedback from your board members and employees

After communicating your business strategy to your employees, expect that there will be feedback from them. If there isn’t any, you may want to find a way to encourage it. Whether it’s good or bad, feedback can show that they are working with you in understanding and improving the business strategy.

Your board is composed of people who have knowledge of the industry and a stake in the business so they can give worthy insights for how the business will grow.  Employees, on the other hand, understand the inner workings of the business. They see how things work and what factors can affect its operations, so their say is valuable.

With that in mind, be open to adjusting your plans and incorporating great suggestions for improving your business strategy. At the same time, do not be easily swayed with waves of opinions. If you see that they do not work in the direction the business is going, explain how it’s not a good fit for the business. This way, you are also encouraging open communication within your company.

Scaling up is a complex task, so taking the time to gather and consider the feedback you receive is understandable.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

While reading about these challenges and ways to overcome them seem simple, you will be able to grasp how complicated it can be when you actually experience it. Miscommunication is a common issue we experience every day, and having one in your business could have a corresponding risk to time and money, which are both crucial in scaling your business up.

For scaleup business owners who are entering the next level for their business, they can consult seasoned advisors and professionals to provide them with expert knowledge. Aside from learning how to effectively communicate your business strategy, they can help you craft a solid and detailed business strategy right from the beginning. This can ensure that you are delivering a well-thought-out plan and avoid constantly changing directions along the way.

About the Author

John Courtney is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from TechSPARK.

He is Founder and CEO of BoardroomAdvisors.co which has 100 senior people as part-time Executive Directors (finance, marketing, sales, operations, IT even managing) plus NEDs/Chairs which they provide to scale-ups and growing family businesses in the UK, Europe and India and have plans to expand to the USA and the rest of the world.

John has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran six of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.

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