Dare to take the test? Is your team cohesive around the strategy?

Is your problem-solving team fully involved in developing and delivering the business strategy?  The output from the attached exercise will give you the answer.

The primary role of the problem-solving leader is to focus the problem-solving team upon removing the obstacles preventing achievement of the business goal. 

However, despite many hours of well-intentioned discussions with colleagues, leaders are often frustrated (or even exasperated), that senior members of business teams often drive functional plans divergent to the core strategy, or miscommunicate the strategy to subordinates.

In part, this is excusable.

Communication of strategy is often one way.  Peers rarely practice presentations with each other so consquently, subtle differences become exaggerated over time and distance. If there are no feedback loops along the way (and budgets often prevent this), the impact of miscommunication is felt only once large costs have been incurred.

One approach to avoiding this issue is to take the Strategy Coherency test.

I have written previously about our pragmatic approach to strategy and won't repeat the detail here.

Most businesses have an overriding goal, but typically between 3-5 obstacles prevent its achievement.  We call the response to removing these obstacles 'the strategy.' The strategy may have several subcomponents, and each of these should inform and reinforce the other.  Collectively they should be a coherent response to the obstacles.

The Strategy Coherency test is a measure of the coherence of your team around the strategy.


The exercise should take 2 hours

1. Download the test here and issue to team members at least 7 days before the meeting.  The test must be completed individually and without collusion.

2. At the meeting, use masking tape to hold all the responses to Goals and Obstacles on one section of wall.  

3. As a team, stand back and look at the responses; the common components and the diverse answers.

4. Discuss the implications and come to agreement on the implications and next steps.

5. Tape up all the responses to the 'Obstacles', and collate where it makes sense.

6. Choose the most appropriate responses in result of the conclusions from step 4.

7. Discuss the implications and come to agreement on the implications and next steps.

8. Update the strategy and communication documents as necessary

The Team Strategy Cohesiveness test is available here.  

Please feel free to share if it is useful but be kind enough to retain copyright acknowledgement.

Thank you