Strategy changes – does the work change?

I have never met a CEO who would consider the strategy of his company particularly bad. Company board meetings usually relieve this type of CEO’s from their duties quite quickly to look for greener grass behind the fence. Instead I have met several CEO’s who consider the implementation of the strategy quite challenging.

In practice this means that KPI’s don’t resonate positively or they resonate with incorrect frequency. If the discussion about the KPI’s is turned towards actions that are taken in the organization to meet the strategic goals, the discussion usually ends quite quickly.

In most cases, companies don’t have KPI’s for work. Decision makers tend to think that when strategy is changed, the work practices also change automatically. If results don’t strengthen the beliefs for strategy, it is usually too late or the last chance to implement another change in strategy. This in spite of the fact that management usually knows very well how work practices should be changed when new strategy is implemented.

Most likely the changes have not been communicated unambiguously enough to staff, or the management has not wanted to communicate the changes well enough to staff. In other words players don’t know the rules of the game. If there is no feedback given for the work following the strategy or the work is not measured, it should not be a big surprise that work is not much interest for staff. Salesman Virtanen’s KPI’s are always the highest year after year and he is always nominated as the salesman of the year. Virtanen will not put extra efforts in working towards more challenging deals that would be in line with the company strategy if his performance is measured only by deal flow that he brings to company.

Implementing the new strategy always requires sacrifices also in personal level. Selling a new product requires always more effort than selling an existing product. Especially if the product is strategically significant and produces competitive advantage. Buying a new product also requires learning from customer’s side.

For example in new media business, customer has learned to purchase single print advertisements or tv commercials for tens of seconds but finding a solution that guarantees the best results require more efforts from marketing manager. When dealing with a new product or solution, salesman must work extra hard in convincing the customer to spend his time and money for the new product instead of the existing, familiar product.

Implementing a new strategy quickly requires new approach in measuring the work and giving feedback. Cloudriven has implemented a new gamification solution since the fall 2012, supported by Tekes. This solution responds to the challenge of measurement and feedback. We are currently piloting our solution with our customers. With the help of this game, we can integrate the central back-end systems’ KPI’s to the KPI’s of work. Our vision is to create new media for leadership. The content of this media is decided by actions.