ABSTRACT

The corporation exists because of the sum total of the efforts of its past and present employees; its future is the sum total of the efforts of the employees going forward. Engaging with the work force is therefore crucial to taking the corporation in a new strategic direction. Transforming the corporation will not happen unless the employees make it happen. A good strategy is at risk of failure if the work force opposes it; whilst a strategy with weaknesses can be bolstered to become an effective strategy if the work force engages in shaping and improving it. Employees should be drawn inside the process to share ownership of the strategy and encouraged to influence the detail of implementation. Persuading the work-force to buy-in to the strategy is a very powerful way to ensure successful delivery. This process cannot wait until implementation; employee engagement should begin from the strategic appraisal; ramp up when launching the strategy and continue as the new strategic direction is bedded in. This is the essence of effective organizational Change Management, where the culture and values of the organization are explicitly recognized and managed as part of any change, through communication, measurement systems, job design, processes, training and other ‘levers’.