It is likely that only a small number of your employees understand the direction and priorities of IT, or of the organization. Research suggests that as few as 5% to 30% grasp the implications and are able to use this understanding to direct their actions. Executives often wonder, “Why aren’t my employees stepping up?” If they don’t understand the strategy, how can they? The solution lies not in blaming employees for inaction, but with you as a leader. You must adopt a more compelling method for communicating that focuses on fostering understanding not just delivering information.

Few employees leap out of bed in the morning and rush to the office to be part of cost-savings and digitalizing work. Instead of starting with “what” is being done, first start by motivating with an inspiring vision, and at the same time develop the “why.” Why is the glue that ties together the vision, enables action, and helps employees understand the rationale and direction, even if they do not currently agree. The first action is to develop both “Why?” and “What’s the vision?”

Making your strategy work on the frontline – HBR