You want to become fit you have to train. You want a degree you have to study. You want to be promoted you have to work hard. All these require one constant – “a passion for action”. To implement any goals you must believe in it, commit to it and act on it. These three components are consistent in any environment and especially when implementing strategy.
When leaders formulate the strategy they typically spend months in discussions, meetings and offsites. During that time they develop a belief in the strategy as they review inputs, discuss alternatives and reach a consensus that they can commit to. Then they agree on what needs to be done and the strategy is ready to launch. Now they are ready to implement it and a common assumption is that the rest of the organization will share their passion and act on implementing the strategy.
But this is not what happens.
The first flaw in the leaders’ thinking from the above example is assuming that the rest of the organization will share the passion. Leaders spend months analyzing the right strategy. They are given the platform to argue their position and time to reflect on it. Staff members are typically told in a town hall meeting, which last 45 minutes, what the new strategy is and from there they are expected to commit heart and soul to executing it! They are rarely given the platform to discuss and debate its implications.