Misunderstood strategy may be the biggest problem facing most organizations today. If the people implementing a strategy don't ‘get it', confusion, dysfunction and sub-optimization result.
Over the past five years and across eight different countries we've conducted experiments into whether the way you communicate strategy make a difference? The answer: yes. Whether you are African, American, Asian, Australasian or European, an MBA student, an executive or a young entrepreneur, communicating strategy in pictures is by far the most effective way. Those shown a diagrammatic portrayal of a strategy recall with 70% accuracy; those shown a textual rendition of the same strategy underperform dramatically, recalling less than 30%.1
And it isn't just in simple reproduction that pictures add value. Those shown the strategy as text who sought to aid their recall by drawing were more than one and a half times more accurate than those who just recalled the strategy by writing. Something kinetic happens when you draw that stimulates other senses. Seeing a picture of a strategy helps, but drawing it is even more powerful.
But what might be most shocking to anybody interested in strategy was the discovery that there is little to no correlation between the amount that can be accurately recalled about a strategy and a person's confidence in acting on it. This suggests that there may be many people in organizations who don't know what their strategy is, but who are confidently ...