I have sat through hours of strategy seminars and ’development days’ in the companies I have worked at. I have spend days away from home and given up weekend-days to hear about new exciting visions for the company and doing countless teamwork-exercises to come up with ideas on how to implement it all. Not once have I seen mine and my fellow colleagues effort been put into action or change the way the business operates on a daily basis. And I know I’m not the only one out there.
Monday would come around, and it would be business as usual. Admittedly some things might subsequently have been discussed at very senior level, and parts of the input were perhaps implemented on a very abstract level – far away from any daily operation. But overall it seemed like all the input were put in one of those big black garbage bags and stored somewhere hidden, along with the hangovers and the little too honest feedback given in the early mornings of the always included party. With time I completely lost faith and interest in these strategy days and visions, which seemed more and more like an opportunity to show off in front of colleagues, and for management to create what seemed more like an illusion of ownership than real involvement.
The many wasted hours have not been for nothing. It has propelled my motivation to do what I do today. Which also gives me great opportunity to work with and talk to the real change agents in business. And I recently interviewed a CEO, who decided that it was time to not just talk but also walk the talk when it came to live up to his company’s purpose and values.
Not just did this CEO and his fellow executives create a visionary and ambitious strategy that would revamp the company operations and create a culture of empowerment. Senior management also included people below in thinking about the implementation. AND they actually implemented serious changes to the way the business operate on a daily basis to succeed with the strategy. To top it all off, they announced their strategic plans to their customer base even before starting the implementation. That is what I call courage, accountability and responsibility. If more management acted like this, there would be no more yawning and secretly waiting for the coffee breaks at strategy seminars again. And more employees would show up Monday morning excited to get to work. Read the full interview here (link) and found out how an organization can really move if it wants to.