Maybe there was a day when the CEO or members of the C-suite spoke and those messages were amplified up and down the organization. Well, if there was such a time, those days are long gone. The noise level inside companies today is louder than ever before. Thus, making it more difficult for C-level executives to get “messages that matter” to stick and ultimately have a lasting impact on business performance.
That’s why it is time for C-level executives to get serious about communication pull-through and activation strategies. What is that? It’s the disciplined and sustained process that ensures strategic messages are heard, embraced and ultimately acted upon at every level of the organization.
Think about it. How detailed, disciplined and sustained was your “pull-through and activation” process when you rolled out strategic corporate priorities for 2017? What about your new brand promise? What about changes in the company’s go-to-market strategy?
If you’re like most executives, you gathered top-tier leaders from across your organization and shared this message with them at an event or meeting. From there, you assumed leaders would passionately and consistently share that message throughout their area of the business. Maybe you even sent out a company-wide email. Well, having worked with large, complex organizations for more than 15 years, we can tell you … this doesn’t cut it.
The message … is NOT communicated correctly.
The message … is NOT shared persistently.
The message … is NOT acted upon by frontline employees.
The message … does NOT deliver desired business results.
This doesn’t mean your leaders are incompetent. It means they are busy. It means they need help. It means they must have the communication tools, air cover and support it takes to deliver the message in a way that it sticks.
As a C-suite executive, that’s your job. You have to ensure there is a disciplined, persistent communication pull-through and activation strategy in place to ensure critical business initiatives are a success.
What does a pull-through and activation strategy include? There are five key components …
Story: time and energy to formulate and crystallize a clear, compelling message.
Sequence: a communication roadmap that ensures the story is compartmentalized into bite-size chunks and delivered in an intentional and highly sequenced manner.
Strategy: a plan that targets and tailors the message for relevant roles and areas of the business.
Structure: a disciplined communication cadence that ensures the message is heard, internalized, understood and activated by all critical stakeholders.
Statistics: a method for measuring absorption, retention and activation in specific areas of the organization.
In today’s noisy, constantly changing, high-speed business environment, you have to realize that critical messages don’t cascade … they don’t translate into action … they don’t impact business results … without comprehensive communications management.
So, if you want strategic messages to get across and your corporate initiatives to be a success, you need to have a pull-through and activation strategy in place. You need a partner with the communication expertise and methodologies required to engage and activate employees in a way that positively impacts business performance.