We offer our workshops, trainings and consulting remotely, in presence and in hybrid form.

STRATEGY COMMUNICATION: UNDERSTANDABLE MEETS SUSTAINABLE

Is the new strategy understandable and comprehensible for everyone in the company? Are there any reservations or feedback that should be individually addressed? It is axiomatic that sustainable implementation of a strategy can only succeed if it is appropriately communicated. We use both classical and newly developed formats to ensure that all stakeholders, managers and employees of a company are informed.

COMMUNICATION AS THE BASIS FOR IMPLEMENTATION

The strategy for a company or division is often the starting point for further development and change. For successful implementation, management, executives and employees must pull together so that the strategy can be ‘lived’. The prerequisite: The messages must be understood and be tangible for everyone. This is where strategy communication comes in.

COMMUNICATION IS NOT UNIDIRECTIONAL

Good communication within the company always provides opportunities for feedback and participation. Interaction between all those involved helps to test the developed strategy at company level and, if necessary, to fine-tune it. For it is precisely this dialogue that sometimes brings new aspects and perspectives to the fore that had previously been ignored. In strategy communication, there is no one-size-fits-all format that works in every company. Instead, it is important to choose the right one from numerous alternatives. Our established formats allow for varying degrees of participation and depth of information - and are used according to the phase, group of participants and desired result.

CIDPARTNERS: COMBINING STRATEGY & COMMUNICATION

As a management consultancy, we have helped numerous companies in their strategy development and strategy implementation. We use the know-how gained in a targeted manner to dovetail the strategy process with the associated communication in such a way that both have the greatest possible impact.

Since our foundation, we have been deeply involved in the topic of communication, i.e. it has been a special focus of our daily work. Our clients benefit from a broad network of proven communication professionals with creative ideas who use communication effectively – and with unexpectedly positive results.

EXAMPLES OF COMMUNICATION AND WORKING FORMATS

Workshops

Workshop formats are very well suited for intensive work, feedback and exchange in smaller groups. For example, to obtain feedback from the management team in order to concretize, develop or consolidate the strategy as it evolves. Also, one or more workshops provide an excellent way of working out divisional strategies and planning their concrete implementation (e.g. in the form of projects).

We rely on dynamic workshop formats, involving co-creative and very efficient collaboration. This makes it possible to view and work on several topics simultaneously within a short time frame and to integrate different perspectives.

Large Group Event

This form of event is particularly suitable for enabling communication between many people and at the same time involving them, which engenders positive emotions as well as a sense of taking part in a new venture. There are different event-related formats, e.g. townhall events, open spaces, world café or even ‘classical’ information events. You can learn more about our services for large group events here.

Management Newsletter and Blog

A newsletter and/or a blog are well suited for ongoing process communication. They are very useful for providing regular updates that are intended for all managers and employees. It is important that this format is not confined to a single message, and if it is used at all it should be employed on an ongoing basis.

Brown Bag Sessions

Brown bag sessions are a more informal format with small groups (up to 20 participants) to enable an exchange of information on very specific topics. It is a very direct format that removes inhibitions and makes space for deeper insights to emerge. The procedure is usually as follows: a short impulse talk from an expert is followed by a casual exchange of views to examine the topic from several sides and find answers.

By the way, why ‘brown bag session’? The name arises from the idea that such a meeting generally takes place at lunchtime and the participants have their ‘take away’ food with them when they exchange ideas.

Pulse Checks

This format refers to obtaining feedback from a randomly selected group of managers and employees at regular intervals. The primary aim is to systematically and regularly assess the current mood at several levels. Questions are frequently asked to probe how clear and comprehensible the strategy is, how the process and communication are perceived and what the respondents feel most about it. This provides a regular check on the effectiveness and credibility of communication.

Podcast and Video Sessions

The scale of podcasts and video sessions (web conferences) is somewhat larger. Podcasts have the advantage that employees can access them at any time (e.g. on the way to work). They also provide a way of disseminating in-depth information. In contrast to a newsletter or written information in general, this format leaves much more room for communicating certain aspects, nuances and explanations.

Instead of listening to podcasts on an individual basis, employees can access video sessions and follow a similarly structured exchange live. The advantage is that viewers can ask questions. The disadvantage is that it is necessary to join in at a specific time. Of course, it is also possible to record video sessions, but then the live participation aspect no longer applies.

Both formats - podcasts and video sessions - are well suited to dealing with topics and questions in depth and also discussing specific matters, their significance, their constraints and their purpose.

 

Intranet and Employee Magazine

Strategy communication should certainly also take place via media that are already in common use throughout the organization, such as the intranet or employee magazine. The content can, of course, go beyond mere updates and include interviews, success stories or current highlights, for example. This makes the intranet and employee magazine good choices for sustainable strategy communication if they are well established and widely used by the members of the organization.

Corporate Social Media

Social media channels like LinkedIn, XING, Facebook, Instagram etc. are useful platforms for external strategy communication. Current strategic initiatives can be effectively linked with PR activities. They are easy to assimilate and usually allow for quick feedback via a comment function.

Numerous companies (such as Facebook, Google and Amazon) have long since shared information about strategic goals with the public on a regular basis. They are already exploiting the fact that news/postings from within their own company are generally highly rated by social media users.

 

Contact us

Detlev Trapp is founder of cidpartners and is especially appreciated by our clients as a strategic sparring partner and initiator.

Detlev Trapp

Managing Partner & founder

+49.228-25 90 85.10

CONTACT

WHEN STRATEGY COMMUNICATION MAKES SENSE

Strategy communication must generally be initiated as early as possible and implemented regularly. The concrete content and the level of abstraction depend on the timing and on the respective target group:

Management and executives sshould be informed of and involved in the process as early as possible. As not all managers can actively participate in the development as a rule, they should at least be kept up to date – as well as being given opportunities to provide input and feedback at given milestones.

Furthermore, it is advisable to involve key stakeholders stakeholders (e.g. works councils, opinion leaders, key persons, specialist departments) from the beginning of the process and to provide space for feedback, questions and opinions. Such an approach can save a lot of time later on, as it often precludes conflicts and power struggles, creates commitment and significantly eases the implementation.

Employees should then be informed (also at an early stage) that a strategy process is under way, what it relates to and what the approximate sequence and timetable is. A dichotomy often arise here regarding who is to be involved at an early stage and the desire of many employees to be informed of specific details. The latter is usually only possible in later phases. Even if this balancing act cannot be fully resolved, early and continuous communication provides for a decisive benefit: Employees receive information first-hand - and not via an unreliable grapevine. Such transparency creates trust.

Contact Us

We will be only too pleased to place the know-how of our communication experts and consultants at your disposal in order to develop the right concept and approach for you and with you.

Our services are tailored according to the initial situation, internal communications expertise and the needs of our clients. This can include the co-creative design of holistic communication concepts - as well as the development and implementation of very specific communication formats.

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THE KEY ROLE OF MIDDLE MANAGEMENT

In the context of strategy communication, many managers and employees complain that schemes drawn up by top-level management are too big, too vague or simply too much up in the air. As a result, many employees don’t see how their work is directly impacted by them. These concerns are understandable, but on the other hand it is equally clear that there is no way of presenting the big picture and at the same time all its attendant details for each sub-division within the scope of a single presentation.

This is where middle management skills are required. The task is to translate the strategy into specific action for their areas in a comprehensible way. A task that is not always easy, as ‘getting down to the nuts and bolts’ takes time and input from key stakeholders. At the same time, there is a desire to resolve possible uncertainties among managers and employees as quickly as possible by means of so-called concretization stages. When developing the strategy process and the associated communication concept, these iterative loops and concretization stages should be planned and made transparent from the outset. This also means providing suitable formats, a time frame and budgets to underpin the concretization, which ensures process reliability and lets all those involved know what they can expect in which phase - and what the next steps will be.

For communicative processing as well as the planning and implementation of communication formats and workshops, it is advisable to obtain external support. This relieves the burden on management and executives and ensures that they can concentrate on their actual work.