I find that the most vulnerable part of communication of strategic initiatives for operational execution in small to medium-size owned businesses (SMBs) comes at the various stages of hand-off: from the Executive or C-Level to Sr. level or middle management, from Marketing to Business Development, from Business Development to Project Management and Engineering, from R&D to Operations/Engineering, from Finance to Human Resources.
SMB handoff of strategy for execution and implementation isn’t necessarily a linear hand-off either.
For SMBs in the $5-50M USD range, there is enough organizational depth so that individuals aren’t wearing multiple hats any more.
However, there’s no room for a business model comprised of silos.
The integrity of your SMB handoff of your strategic plan for execution throughout your organization can be a scary process.
The rate-limiting step sits firmly in the hands of your mid-level managers. They are at the interface of cross-functional input, throughput and output from your internal and external resources.
They interface with the Voice of your Customers and manage the boots-on-the-ground project management and engineering resources determining your revenue stream.
Your SMB handoff of strategy for execution isn’t a paint-by-numbers affair. It’s not a dispassionately implemented recipe.
Your SMB handoff of strategy for execution walks your C-Level talk through your organization into the marketplace. It is how your vision is translated into the transactional nature of business.
Do you trust that your Sr. and middle managers comprehend your strategy from both your executive context as well as their context at the customer interface?
How well would you rate the value of your communication?
The corporate culture’s comprehensive understanding and consistent delivery on these critical hand-offs impact both strategic as well as tactical implementation, business outcomes and revenue generation.
These hand-offs are fueled by the people factor as much as they are functions of your well thought-out processes and practices.
Depending on where we sit around the business table, we all see, hear, read and speak about the same things differently. What assumptions are you making when you create your SMB handoff of strategy for execution?
Everyone truly may not be on the same page, because your pages are still stratified based on hierarchy and mis-assumption.
Take a solid look at critical communication gaps in your organization. Your customers’ organizations are rife with these gaps: that’s why you need to rework their drawings once you win the contract.
The success of SMB handoff of strategy for execution starts with responsibility and accountability of the leadership team. Otherwise your middle managers may be left holding the bag once again.
Something to chew on this week?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. Her Workshops create Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies who want to grow, expand and sustain their businesses, but wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Playbook on leadership, business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.