5 Easy Steps to Create a Motivational Strategic Theme for Your Team

Execution with Themes

A great theme song sets the scene instantly. All it takes is 2 notes of the Jaws theme or the opening notes of the Star Wars march to send shivers down our spines and conjure a wealth of emotions.

A great planning theme plays a similar role. A creative Theme brings an emotional connection to strategic planning, explained Coaches Jason Rush and Morgan Stanley during their webinar for Align on “Creating Themes that Create Results”.

A lack of urgency and focus is the most common reason strategic plans fail at implementation. Themes foster a fun and competitive spirit to create focus and excitement around execution.

If you’re hoping to get your team on the same page for execution, follow these 5 simple steps from Jason and Morgan for creating a great Theme.

1. Come up with a Theme name

The catchier the better! Make it something people won’t easily forget.

2. Address the Priority

The theme should represent your team’s core constraint and reflect the opportunity or problem you are addressing.

3. Set a Measurable Outcome

If your goal is well-structured, you should tie your theme to the metric associated with success. Sports and Olympic Themes work well because they have scoreboards and levels of achievement.

4. Keep it Visible

Themes help build a culture of transparency, where key outcomes are tracked for everyone to see. A theme should start with a memorable kickoff, include decorations or visible displays (a Zoom background while remote!), and weekly check-ins. Themes help strategy come alive with visibility driving focus.

5. Reward Success

Themes can be extra motivational when tied to a celebration or prizes. Even if fun rather than monetary, incentives create a competitive spirit around strategic goals.

Hear from the experts!

Petra Coaches Jason Rush and Morgan Stanley have helped countless organizations achieve results with strategic planning and Themes. They have Theme creation down to a science. Check out their full webinar for Align for all their tips!

For additional ideas and examples of Themes, Jason and Morgan recommend Scaling Up Themes by Verne Harnish and Andy Bailey.

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