You’ve figured out how to ask real strategic questions . You and your team have used those strategic questions to layout your strategy for next month, next year, maybe even the year after that.
You’re working on the big strategy presentation for your boss, and his boss. You have 30-45 minutes to present. It has to be perfect. Your PowerPoint slides need to be crisp, concise, and informative. Most of all, they must smoothly convey the sheer mastery of your team’s strategy.
You rehearse with your management team. You adjust and tweak each word, each number, and every bullet point on your slides. You gather as much supporting information as you can to support your conclusions. You write out every question you can anticipate, and make sure you have a clear and effective response for each one. You are ready.
Your company’s dress code is business casual, but it’s tradition that you wear a coat and tie for these annual strategy presentations. Your preparation pays off. You deliver a brilliant strategy presentation. There are a few questions thrown your way, but you’ve anticipated every one of them. Your boss, and his boss, are clearly impressed and excited to offer their support for your strategy.
You gather your team for a short post-presentation update meeting. You congratulate your team for all of the work they’ve done on the presentation. High fives all around!
Was this the most important strategy presentation you’ll ever make? It probably seemed like it, with all of the hard work and sleepless nights that went into it. But, it definitely wasn’t the most important.
Having your manager’s support for your strategy is a big deal. But, your manager, and his manager, won’t do much to help you deliver on the brilliant strategic vision you and your team have laid out.
Remember all the time and energy that went into your perfect presentation? Imagine if you spent even half of that time and energy preparing for, and presenting to, your customers and your employees.
The most important strategy presentation you’ll ever make is to the people who will deliver on your strategy…your customers, your direct reports, and everyone who works within your organization.
It’s not a one-time event that lasts 30-45 minutes. It’s a never-ending conversation that should be happening with your customers, and across all levels of your organization…every day.