Why do companies need a strategy?
The word means “the art of waging war”, but are we really talking about battle planning? We asked Robert Gorosch to explain PostNord’s strategy.
Most companies have a strategy. Grand words that aim high. You may have heard PostNord’s vision “Favorite carrier of the Nordics”, its purpose "We make everyday life easier", or the strategic priorities “Win in Parcel” and “Sustainable Mail Business”.
But do you know what they mean? And how to use them in your everyday work?
One person who should be able to explain this is Robert Gorosch, Group Strategy Director at PostNord. His work includes tracking consumer trends and analyzing the postal and parcel market to ensure that PostNord is focusing on the right things.
“Put simply, strategy is the ability to formulate a couple of clear goals and identify what you need to do to achieve them”, Robert says.
Well, that doesn’t sound so complicated, does it?
“No, but perhaps the hard part is not setting goals, its having some logic for why they are important and what activities you need to achieve them.”
Take PostNord’s vision for example “Favorite carrier of the Nordics”. How do you become that?
“It’s not enough to say you want to achieve it; the major task is bringing the vision to life. Does it mean that we should have the largest market share in the Nordic region, or that we should be the most popular supplier?
“As we want the preferred supplier, we need to find out what consumers think is most important or a deal-breaker. It can be anything from speed and friendly drivers to a wide range of options to choose from. Then the key is to create services that consumers love. And that’s how it goes: goals, analysis, action, follow-up.”
How do you ensure that the strategy is not just fancy words and that it reaches all parts of the organization?
“This is a huge challenge and an area with potential for development. We need to get better at communicating this in a simple way.
“Basically, the corporate strategy sets the framework for the country strategies. It’s then up to each country to communicate its own strategy and goals in an understandable way, using articles and other informative material. But our leaders are the most important tool of all. They have to eat, sleep and live our strategy for us to succeed.”
How important is it for a driver or mail carrier to know PostNord’s strategy?
“It's extremely important! Take our strategic priority “Win in Parcel”; it encompasses various activities such as being efficient, cutting costs and working smart. If that information does not reach the people who actually deliver the parcels, it will take us much longer to reach our goals. It must become part of the culture at PostNord. That’s why it's so important that our leaders talk about this in the workplace.”
How can employees contribute to the strategy?
“Everyone who is out in the field sees a lot. It could be a route that needs to be re-evaluated or tasks that can be done smarter. Having the courage to speak up, take responsibility and suggest improvements is so important.”
If you have questions or thoughts about the strategy, who should you contact?
“You can naturally talk to your manager, but you can also send an email to me or someone in management. You shouldn’t be afraid of doing that. Sometimes I notice that there is still a culture of not talking about our problems, but we have to be able to do that in order to solve them.”
Picture: Robert Gorosch works as Group Strategy Director at PostNord.