When leadership teams are misaligned on a strategy, sometimes it’s because people disagree with it but hesitate to say so (particularly if the boss is present). For example, they may voice their support for an initiative in the planning meeting but find reasons not to commit resources to it later on. One solution to this misalignment is anonymous, real-time digital polling. The next time your leadership team discusses a strategic move, don’t ask people whether they agree with it. Instead, direct attendees to a polling platform where they can vote on the initiative from their phones or laptops. If the meeting is about, say, new growth innovation, ask everyone to vote on what percentage of profits the firm should invest. After the votes are cast, display the data for the group to see; you could also ask people to explain their reasoning. Remember, the goal isn’t to squash disagreements — it’ to surface them so that the team can have a richer, more productive discussion.
Adapted from “A Simple Way to Get Your Leadership Team Aligned on Strategy,” by Scott D. Anthony and Bernard C. Kümmerli.