As an executive leader and ambassador of the company, an important part of your role is to ensure alignment with the strategic intent of the organisation.
That statement looks straight forward on paper, but from experience, it brings with it a great deal of internal and external conflict.
Today, let’s take a look at one of the many use cases – You don’t believe in the strategy.
A New Strategy is Announced
Senior management has communicated a new multi-year strategy across the organisation.
With this announcement comes lots of noise, the noise of excitement and noise of disagreement.
But which side are you?
For some reason, this time, you’re not buying in. But as a senior leader, you need to keep this to yourself.
You’re internally conflicted. You don’t agree with the strategy, but you have to ensure those under your leadership align with it.
Dealing with Conflict
I’ve found that the best way to deal with conflict is to understand both sides of the argument and find a way forward for both parties.
In this case, the other party is senior management, and once they’ve communicated a strategy, then it’s not going to change unless they are replaced.
So, in this case, you have to find a way forward.
Your Way Forward
The first step is to eliminate any emotions you are feeling as they will disrupt the clear thinking required.
Grab a pen and paper, then write down any objections you have to this new strategy.
Now attempt to counter your objections –
What Don’t You Know?
Even though you cannot change the strategy, you can understand the information and perspectives used by senior management to create and back it.
Seek out those involved in communicating this strategy as well as those who are champions of it. They will be excited to tell you what they know.
Also, get the perspective from your boss, trusted peers and mentor.
Does this cross off any objections?
What Do You Believe?
Are your beliefs limiting your buy into the strategy?
How can you disprove these beliefs?
Are others vocalising their beliefs clouding your view, can they evidence these beliefs?
Wait and See
Can the remaining objections on your list be mitigated to a wait and see strategy?
What’s Left on Your List?
Do you now agree with more elements of the strategy than not?
Are you now comfortable promoting it to others under your leadership?
If not, then you have a difficult decision to make.
Your executive coach