Understanding strategic buy-in
Strategic buy-in is the extent to which management and employees are on board with the strategy. It refers to how much they agree with the approach and are supportive of the direction that is being taken. High strategic buy-in means that management and employees are in agreement that this is a good direction for the firm. In comparison, low strategic buy-in would involve a lot more skepticism about the approach that is being pursued.
The importance of strategic buy-in and the dangers of lack fo strategic buy-in
Strategic buy-in is important for firm success because implementing the strategy needs the involvement of management and employees. If the employees of the firm are behind the strategy, then implementation is likely to be much easier – there is no need to try and get employees on board.
On the other hand, if there is skepticism to the strategy, the implementation stage is likely to be much more difficult. Individuals are less likely to go above and beyond for an approach that they don’t agree with. There may be push-back, or individuals may not go along with the strategy, instead deviating from the plan.
A lack of strategic buy-in may also be associated with inconsistencies in implementing strategy. Part of the goal of a company strategy is to ensure that the different parts of the business are aligned with one another. If different divisions don’t buy into the strategy, and each pursues the more limited goals of their specific division or function, then this may lead to silos within the business.
Increasing strategic buy-in
Final thoughts: Don't overlook the importance of strategic buy-in
It can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming that if the developed strategy is good, then it doesn’t matter if employees in the firm are on board or not. While having a good way of competing is important, it is also important that the strategy is well implemented. Getting employees on board with the strategy is a key component of helping to increase the likelihood of implementation success.