How to become more strategic
Strategy. It’s a bit of a scary word. Especially if you’re not sure how to be strategic.
So where do you start?
Have your end goal in sight
To start you’ve got to have a vision of where you want to end. What’s the goal to your communication or project?
By having an end goal in site, it helps you plan your steps to get there.
Strategy is all about planning. By thinking and planning first, you’re able to action the tactical practical elements to help you achieve your goal.
Do your research
So, first thing you have to do is research.
What do we mean by this? You can’t start something without knowledge.
Survey your colleagues to learn their opinion, their views, what makes them tick, what they need, what they want. With this information, you’re able to customise you’re planning to give people exactly what they need at the right time.
Learn what’s trending in the industry. Look at up to date reports, whitepapers, survey results to understand what your competitors are doing, what people outside your business are doing, how they react to your communication or project.
With this research, you further expand your knowledge, giving yourself an edge to make a strong impact and impression. Make sure that what you research, you tie into your business strategy. There’s no point developing a strategy for your project if you don’t link it back to the overall business objectives.
Don’t think you have to do it on your own
You might think that because it’s your communication, or your project that you can’t ask for assistance when developing your strategy.
In fact, it’s best to have other perspectives involved so you can develop a holistic strategy.
Give yourself the ability to ask for help when you need it.
Set out your key messages
Key messages are the most important aspects of your strategy you want to get across to your people.
They help explain your strategy in a way that is digestible. If you don’t provide clear points in your communication, how do you expect your people to understand what you’re talking about?
So, what do you do?
When thinking about your strategy, look at what the end goal will look like, then think about the journey which people need to make to get there. What are the consequences of this strategy? What drives this strategy? What does it need to happen? And how are you getting your people there?
These are all elements that you can include in your key messages.
These messages will promote your business, your projects, your activities and the overall brand. Make sure your key messages align not only to your strategy but also the overall business priorities as well. They must all have a common thread through them. This will help your people to move together in the same direction to reach your ultimate goal and success.
Measure your successful results
By measuring the success of your strategy, you are showing your communication or projects worth to the business. Without this measurement, you’re not able to truly demonstrate return on investment.
So, you’ve done all this research, structure, and planning, but how do you measure if it’s successful?
You do this by measuring quantitative and qualitative measures.
The stats and the emotive response.
If it’s related to communication, you could look at level of employee engagement, employee retention, employee turnover. Number of employee suggestions, new innovative ideas in the pipeline and even customer retention and satisfaction.
There are lots of ways to measure.
Some questions to help you decide where to measure include:
- What causes operations to improve?
- What causes an increase in employee satisfaction?
- What causes customer satisfaction?
- What causes increased sales?
- How was this goal achieved?
That’s all folks
This gives you a view into how you can become more strategic. It’s all about the thinking before the doing.