4 Ways To Simplify Strategy So People Know What To Do


If you want a strategy to be meaningful, then you'll want everyone in your organisation to know and understand it.

If people don’t know where you’re heading, they won’t be able to help you get there.

Here are four ways to simplify your organisation's strategy.


1. Have Only One Strategy!

An organisation can only have one strategy – but may have many plans to deliver it. Healthcare organisations often have lots of strategies (nursing, workforce, financial etc). This is confusing and only complicates the picture for everyone.

2. If People Can’t Describe Your Strategy – Why Would You Expect Them To Deliver It?

A strategy helps you understand what you must do today if you want to get somewhere else five or ten years from now. The purpose of the strategy is to clarify all the things you must start to do, or continue to do, or stop. Starting now.  Aim to get your strategy down on one page. Make the priorities memorable, and consistently refer to the strategy in every context and situation. People will soon get the idea.

3. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Get someone good to visualise your strategy. You now have a strategy on a page and a picture to go with it. Here’s an example from my last organisation – Cardiff and Vale UHB.

4. Develop A Strictly Limited Set Of Key Strategic Outcome Measures

One airline ran its entire business for a decade with one key strategic indicator: Our planes will depart on time. This one measure spoke to customer satisfaction (no frustrating delays), lower operating costs (lower airport charges) and reduced downstream costs (no cascade of costly delays across the airline).


Can you say what your organisation’s strategy is?