Strategy is No Longer Top Down ... It's Social!
Top down strategy is dead, leaders still have to lead, and they do so by developing strategic planning initiatives that achieve results. Strategic plans set the tone for how companies behave. Strategy will always matter most, even in a social era where it's holistic rather than top-down. The most important question is how does the social era we're in affect strategic planning?
Sometimes, even social businesses fail to bring social strategies into the boardroom. For most organizations, "social" means nothing more than CRM, marketing, and product feedback. Few realize the exponential rewards hidden in every organization's "Social Consciousness." That's what social era leaders need to tap into.
Imagine a business where every employee, customer, executive, board member, and investor could share his/her perspective on the organization's performance with the CEO before the next strategic offsite. Imagine if you will that the executive leadership team collaborated and strategically planned around up-to-the-moment data that accurately reflected the health of the business.
Stop imagining! The age of social strategic planning is here, and it all starts by connecting every part of a business. Business leaders need to find social tools that don't just collect data, but organize it, make it meaningful. The best social tools use schemas to map and inter-relate business data end-to-end, cut through the clutter, or at least organize data in a useful way, to make insights actionable.
Few organizations apply social principles like transparency, collaboration, innovation, and connected learning to strategic planning. That's probably because it's difficult when you don't know how. Social technology is new, and many business owners and executives are still struggling to discern the best way to integrate new solutions. That's why it's important to be social!
However you choose to take on social strategy, remember, listen and learn from everyone affected by your business! Your employees, customers, investors, and advisors have knowledge you need so that you can strategize effectively. Find a way to hear "the audience" across your entire business, and connect rather than segment the input you receive. Now you've got lots of strategists pushing information to the top in a way that is engaging and enables good decisions, instead of the top dictating a strategy that a thousand innovative people think is junk. Or, worse, nobody knows if it is or isn't because the business isn't connected.
Don't be afraid to connect with those affected by your business so that your strategy is sound and effective for improving bottom-line results. It's only social!