Some of the most brilliant plans and strategies never get implemented. The problem is often communicating the strategy in a simple and easy to understand manner to a lot of people with different opinions, knowledge levels and responsibilities. As plan creators we need to think about our internal audience in the same way as we think about customers. They have to get and like our messages and plans or they won’t implement them. It’s also key that employees can see a direct benefit to them in implementing it.
The one page plan
My approach to this challenge is to boil down the plan document to a single page that can be shared and understood by the whole organisation. A MindMap does the job really well. As one of my more memorable bosses frequently said, “If my granny can’t understand your plan you ain’t got a plan”. So keep it very simple. I then put a lot of effort into marketing it internally using many of the same tools that I would use to market products externally. It needs to be a sustained internal campaign.
Why use a MindMap?
The advantage of using a MindMap is that it can be used to track progress on every item on the plan with simple colour coding. Several of my clients use it as an informal agenda for their monthly board meeting and focus on any Red items. They can also look across the whole plan and easily spot other areas that might be affected by any red ratings. This give a much better overall picture of what’s going on and enables them to make better joined up decisions.
I also recommend regularly sharing the updated plan with the whole company. At least every quarter. Employees want to see how the business is making progress and what the priorities are. They can use this information to make better decisions and it gives them confidence in the Management team. This improves productivity and staff retention as well as ensuring that the plan gets implemented.