“A word is dead when it is said some say, I say it just begins to live that day”
– Emily Dickinson
When you work on a strategic plan – even if you keep them as short as we do at CO2 Partners, to one page, each word you choose is critical. The language that you use to communicate an idea is the difference between communicating the right idea or many different ideas.
Recently, when working with a long standing client, half way through his companies strategic plan he revealed to me privately how the company was becoming a Results Only Work Place. This was a surprise to me in that many of the the strategies that were discussed did embody this idea and yet it was never spelled out explicitly and yet the companies actions over the past year had been to begin the process of remote work environment, different measurement systems, and collaboration technology to effect a results only work place. The plan actually had many of these component parts but it was missing the explicit direction that the leadership team felt was already baked into the plan.
Why does this matter? When you share your plan with the greater employee base you will want them to understand why you are behaving the way are with them. Becoming explicit rather than implicit is far more effective in communicating with many people through many levels of management. If you get the words right they become alive and vibrant within the organization, if they are not clear at best they give different messages to different people. And remember once you write them or say them they begin to live that day…