How To Activate A New Strategic Initiative With Continuous Feedback

4 mins

Your executive leadership has just unveiled the company's new strategic direction.

Of the million things that have just been added to your to-do list, one emerges:

Activate the workforce.

This usually involves communicating the new initiative, holding several Town Halls across locations and timezones, outlining what the new initiative is, its value, and what everyone will need to do to achieve the new goal.

Great. Now what?

New objectives call for new behaviors.

What will the new objective require of your employees? Their managers? Executive leadership?

What will they need from the company in order to succeed?

Let’s imagine the new goal will require a significant focus on being innovative.

Bringing new ideas to bear to help the company diversify its offerings and increase its market competitiveness.

To change employee behaviors and inspire innovation, you’ll need to design leadership competencies (at Rhabit we call them habits). What would a leader habit look like for Innovation?

Example leadership behaviors for Innovation

  • Come up with big or small ideas that improve current processes or procedures.
  • Suggest new ideas on how to improve current processes.
  • Try out new solutions that could improve an existing process.
  • Improve business processes by finding novel or innovative solutions.

What would you add to this list? How else might an employee change their behaviors to demonstrate that they are leaning in to the company’s goal of innovation?

Consider how leader habits should differ across career levels, and from an engagement perspective.

Managers should...

  • Invite teammates to share new ideas, even if the idea isn’t fully fleshed out yet.
  • Create an environment where teammates feel comfortable voicing new ideas.
  • Encourage brainstorming sessions with teammates of other disciplines to generate new ideas.

Executives should...

  • Communicate an ongoing commitment to innovation.
  • Allocate sufficient resources to support innovation.
  • Communicate the value of innovation.

The company should...

  • Support innovation with both communication and action.
  • Reward those who innovate.
  • Help employees feel comfortable sharing innovative ideas.
  • Frequently discuss new ways to be innovative.

Next, operationalize your new target behaviors with accountability and measurement.

You’ll need a measurement process that illuminates the degree to which employees are changing their behaviors to align to the company’s new goals.

Classic standbys like traditional 360 assessments and engagement surveys can be helpful, but lightweight frequent feedback tools capture more data more frequently and can illustrate whether behaviors are changing over time.

The feedback data will also provide you with information of how the behavior change is impacting the business.

Check in frequently on your behavioral measurement to understand which behaviors are practiced frequently, plan for interventions, and iterate new behavior blueprints based on the changing needs of the new direction.

Remember - observable behavior change and measurement is key.

Your teams will develop new habits faster and more effectively with intuitive behavioral blueprints and frequent feedback. Ideally, the feedback process you employ will be easy, frequent, accessible, and psychologically safe. Doing this will help you operationalize faster behavior change – and communicate its impact on the business – for every employee at your organization.

Are you interested in new ways to understand and measure your leaders' behaviors? Reach out to a Rhabit teammate today! 

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