All the recent psychological research points the same way. People deliver what they focus on. So one of the key challenges to the CEO is to communicate their strategy in ways that repeatedly draw the focus of everyone in the organisation. The same psychological research also indicates how to achieve this. Messages stick when they are simple, emotional stories about real people, illustrating how the strategy will guide the millions of small decisions employees make every day.
For example, the Fedex strategy is built upon their Unique Selling Point of “absolute, positive reliability”. One story to bring this alive for the front line is of a Fedex driver who left his key to open a collection box back at the depot, who then undid the bolts that attach the box to the ground with his spanner and lifted the whole box into his truck to make sure the packages made the flight. This story makes the unreasonable commitment required to deliver “absolute positive reliability” come alive.
The old stories are deeply embedded in the culture of the organisation. The stories that illustrate your future strategy will need an unreasonable level of repetition and reinforcement to stick.
What are the stories you are telling to attract the focus of, and therefore the results of, your organisation?