Strategy – like a punch in the teeth

“Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.”       ‘Iron’ Mike TysonWhite_House_Chief_of_Staff_Dick_Cheney_during_a_campaign_strategy_session_-_NARA_-_7027918

Strategy, vision, mission, master-plan, principles, approach – all words that modern organisations bombard us with every day.

On websites, in the media, on corporate material and in meetings, the one thing a business or organisation has to have is a strategy right?

But what exactly does this mean and how can we translate this into a useful process for communications?

Working in the public sector it can often seem that we have more ‘visions’ than Nostradamus and the one thing I’m probably asked the most is:

“Can we have a communications strategy/plan for this?”

I know that’s a question that smarts with many in the sector and the brilliant guys at comms2point0 have written often on this subject (by the way they also have an excellent comms planning tool to help handle this here)

Communications strategy is widely debated online and is invariably one of the most front facing and high profile issues for most organisations so that alone makes it important.

Add to that the basic fact that in our corporate world everyone wants to be ‘strategic’, rather than the dreaded ‘tactical’.

Thinking about all that this week led me to probably the best blog I’ve read on strategy on the Economist site here

The key thing I take out of it is flexibility. In my experience far too much strategy particularly around communications is rooted in inertia, hubris, dogma and paper documents that act as a blocker to success, rather than something that enables it.

To me strategy should be something that’s a means to an end that helps inform more detailed communications plans.

But in all this, flexibility is the key (especially in the current economic climate of the public sector) and those who are able to be resilient and adjust their approach to the constantly shifting sands will prove the most successful communicators.

Picture: David Hume Kennerly [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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3 thoughts on “Strategy – like a punch in the teeth

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