Getting everyone on board.
Mobilizing the organization
The management of a media company’s marketing department had six weeks before it was due to present its annual strategy. Instead of the usual numbers-based vision, the department wanted to create a message that would not only do justice to the market and the department, but also get employees behind the company’s new objectives.
The marketing department commissioned Metaplan to merge the various strategic initiatives, use them to create a plausible strategy, and develop a cohesive storyline.
Working with the client in a series of workshops and discussions, we identified the focal points of the strategy. In consultation with management, we developed catchy messages, translated them into a Norton/Kaplan strategy map, and incorporated them into the dramaturgically pre-planned program sequence of a major event.
However, since big words are not enough to win over a whole organization, we made the numerous activities plausible by shaping them into a cohesive story. In the follow-up to the event, members of the executive team underpinned the strategic initiatives with concrete and measurable goals.
The executives, in turn, introduced their goals to the respective department heads and put them up for discussion. In a series of workshops with the department heads and the entire executive team, we thought the strategy through and arrived at a rollout plan. It encompassed the important questions of who should speak, to whom, about what, when, and in precisely which way, and who required concrete goals—while always taking into account the organization’s special structural characteristics.
On various levels, the project was a success. First, it produced an engaging strategy process, which saw top management align itself with a strategy that required a common focus. In addition, the process developed a new form of cooperation between the “print” and “digital” divisions.
The key factor in the success of the project was the insight that visions alone aren’t enough. We did not leave it at simply formulating lofty messages and goals, but thought them through in detail. This made the strategy understandable to employees, and gave it real meaning. By formulating action-guiding strategies and breaking them down into goals that were understandable to everyone involved, and therefore manageable, we turned the event into a springboard for mobilizing the organization.