#6 Follow the energy

Dogmas for making strategy work
This article was originally co-authored by

22 June 2018

The biggest disrupter in business today is energy. Energy within your company, and energy delivered to your customers. In most industries, there is an oversupply of great products and services, making your offering merely a hygiene factor. Amazing products are a given. Consequently, your strategy must move beyond product-centricity and offer true and emotionally relevant energy to customers.

Real strategy builds a burning desire and delivers energy.

Dogma core ideas

It is estimated that an inspired employee is 125% more productive than an average employee. While companies with averagely satisfied employees often experience organisational drag and growing complexity, companies that explicitly focus on designing great, relevant and inspiring jobs and are driven by a compelling purpose outperform the competition. Always.

Obviously, the consequence of this is to make sure that the strategic choices we make and the jobs we design always allow employees to shine and excel. If a lawyer’s job is designed in an inspiring, relevant and purposeful way, they will be 125% more productive. If a shop assistant is deeply committed to the overall purpose of the company, they will deliver 125% more energy to customers. And so on.

Imagine your strategy process starting out with a discussion about how the jobs of front-line employees should be designed to ensure the highest possible level of inspiration and motivation. This is step one. It sounds like common sense, but the point is that most companies see inspiration as a consequence of a great strategy, instead of seeing it the other way around. Therefore, building energy and motivation tends to be an afterthought, typically fixed with irrelevant and humiliating KPIs anchored in bureaucratic performance management systems.

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Step two involves taking a closer look at things that you have to stop doing. Things that drag your company down and burn energy rather than adding to it. It could be an old and ridiculous upselling habit, targeting a customer segment that every employee struggles with or getting rid of endless internal co-ordination meetings. Kill complexity. Burst the bureaucracy bubble.

When you have decided on what to stop doing, it is time to start doing something meaningful. Find your heroes. The ones for whom work is not just a job. The hungry and inspired ones. These are your business bets. Help everyone learn from them – and bet your company on them. They will build and deliver an unrivalled competitive advantage through the energy they represent and transfer to customers.

Real strategy focusses on building energy from day one and following through all the way to customers.

Dogma perspectives

World-famous management thinker Daniel Pink is a firm believer of the power of having a clear purpose.

Daniel visited Implement Consulting Group at our Thought Leaders event in 2015:

Daniel Pink on Purpose at Implement Thought Leaders 2015

Dogma key questions

  • Do we learn from the employees who truly deliver energy to customers and other employees? Or do we see a lack of employee engagement as a HR issue?

  • Do we deliberately design strategy to build energy and a shared sense of purpose? Or do we treat energy as an afterthought to strategy?

  • Do we track behaviour and energy levels with the same precision and effort as we currently do when measuring financial performances? Or are we stuck in old-fashioned measurement systems?

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