– Making a strategy more tangible and accessible
Over the years, we’ve produced a range of strategy films for several different companies. Each with a specific purpose – but common for all is the need to clearly present and visualise the meaning behind the formulated strategy statement. What does it actually mean when the management want the company and the employees to put the customer in the centre, to be more innovative, to be cost-focused or more service-minded? And which behavioural changes are needed to move the company forward in the defined direction?
Global wind service
In a recent case, we produced a strategy film for a large Danish-based company in the wind industry. They needed to communicate the company’s new direction to all employees – and specifically highlight a set of concrete focus areas to success.
Our first step is always to do a thorough research of all relevant information. We start by getting to the bottom of the strategy itself. We read it. We ask questions. And we keep doing this, until we understand the “why”, the “who”, the “how” and the “what”.
Why the strategy is needed – what problem or challenge does it aim to handle? Who the film’s target audience is – who needs to be motivated to act for the strategy to work? How the strategy will achieve its goal – how is the target audience suppose to act? And finally, what is the ideal effect of the film?
In this particular case, the new strategy is needed in order to stay ahead in changing markets. All employees need to centre their attention on the focus areas. Areas where the key to success depends on a set of core values – among others individual involvement and personal responsibility.
We developed a concept in our whiteboard (or speed drawing) format, which is an efficient tool to explain and communicate complex information clearly. By drawing each scene as it unfolds, the audience is engaged throughout the film. And it helps to break down each individual challenge, so they’re easy to understand for everyone.
In the film, we start by introducing the challenges and go on to state a clear and validated mission to overcome those challenges. We lay out exactly what is expected of everyone to succeed – what will later be underlined as the company’s core values.
Afterwards we move through each of the focus areas one at a time. The narrator explains what is important to remember in each one, and which actions are needed to move forward in the right direction. The illustrations support all our key messages, and help visualise some of the more complex statements in ways that make them easier to understand.
This method of storytelling helps the audience connect to the content. It builds a very deliberate structure for the information, which makes it accessible and easy to adopt.
Finally, we move to the centre of the drawing to reveal the company’s core values. And by zooming out slowly we show, that every area is tied together by the core values. This provides an overview of the entire drawing and underlines the fact, that each area is crucial for the strategy to work.
There are numerous ways of executing a strategy film – the right way however, depends on the strategy and the level of details, the type of organization and on how the film is intended to be used.
Our challenge was to communicate a rather complex message in an way that was pragmatic but also present and understandable for everybody in our organization independent of culture or function. We therefore decided to build the messages up around a cartoon, and therefore we engaged with Bulldog and Partners. We experienced that Bulldog and Partners quite fast understood our industry and the strategy we wanted to communicate, so once the script was agreed, the storyboard they came up with was basically spot on. During the implementation of the strategy in our organization the video has received very well by the full organization and hence played a significant role.
— CCO, Michael Høj Olsen