Tackle the ABCs of Business Decay

Any great leadership team recognizes that while strategic planning may begin at the top, it cannot live without moving it throughout all levels of the organization. Without a fully engaged workforce taking meaningful action, even the best strategies will falter at best.

As you consider how to use your strategic plan to better engage the rest of the organization, start by confronting the ABCs of business decay, as identified by Warren Buffett.


Overcome the temptation to speak to employees about the strategic plan, and focus instead on speaking with them. Get input on the plan from people throughout the organization. With collaboration at the forefront, you’ll not only gain valuable perspectives from strategic thinkers that can help to improve the plan, you’ll also garner authentic alignment from your colleagues. Test ideas that emerge, and then choose to implement the best refinements. Everyone will become more engaged when their viewpoints are heard and valued, even if their individual ideas aren’t ultimately implemented.


We all want our organizations to run more smoothly, efficiently, and effectively, yet in striving to do so, we often put policies and procedures in place that limit creativity and productivity. Some processes are necessary to drive alignment in the organization. Others can be counterproductive. Separate the wheat from the chaff by ruthlessly identifying the value created by the process rather than indulging in the comfort of what has always been done. The leaders we work with typically find that when they get out of the way, extend trust, and make themselves available as a resource and obstacle mover (rather than creator), their people thrive and get results.


You may have designed the most beautifully promising strategy, but if you put it in the hands of people who don’t care, it goes nowhere. Forcing people to care can be like trying to pin Jell-O to the wall, but you can create an environment in which they can find their own motivation by aligning tactics and daily tasks with their strengths. As your strategy is communicated throughout the organization, how well are leaders equipped to coach their teams to finding their own connection to the strategy? Helping to connect these dots will fuel their passion for bringing the vision into reality.

When you consider all the work and resources that go into creating a strategic plan and mindfully fine tuning it on a quarterly basis, having every individual in the organization taking informed and inspired action is essential to success. If we can help you to tackle Buffett’s ABCs of business decay, drop us a line. We love helping teams to live their vision.

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