Do you have issues with strategy implementation? In simple terms, how often do your plans actually translate into fruitful and profitable action? Have you found the execution of your plans to be smooth, or have they been nightmarish quagmires of frantic attempts to get the plan moving? Have your business units been able to cooperate well with each other in running the operations, or have you found yourself having to step in often to sort things out?
There are two things which would make your situation better for you.
- Being clear about your strategy in your own mind.
- Making sure that the strategy is clear in the minds of your people, and that the picture in your mind is the same picture in the minds of your people.
Obviously, (2) cannot be accomplished without (1). In order to ensure that (1) is present, have you visualized what it is you’re actually trying to do? Have you looked at the general plan from all angles to ascertain whether it is viable? Have you avoided trying to get down into too much detail?
Once you have (1) sorted out, then for (2) to be accomplished, have you met with your people, both individually and as a strategic planning team, in order to articulate your strategic vision, your plans, to them? Have you listened to their inputs and their concerns? Have you then gathered your team together and made sure everyone knew what was in your mind, and that they agreed with it? Did you give them directions and allocate resources so that they could get it rolling?
One other step needs to be done. That is to keep the intent always before your eyes, and before the eyes of your team. If you don’t do that, what tends to happen is that while you are happily executing your plan, you will run into new situations, new updates, new data, new discoveries, new technologies and a whole lot of other new stuff that will send you way off tangent. And then you will carry on, thinking that you have adjusted your plan while implementing your strategy. No, you haven’t. You have been blown off course. You have been enticed down a rabbit hole which does nothing but bring you to endless cul-de-sacs. And then you blame it on either execution or bad strategy. Well, it’s both. You took your eye off the ball and went charging at all the irrelevant targets. Always stay on course. If you need a course change, then it means back to the drawing board, not a minor adjustment of plan, they are two very different things!
Take these simple steps, and you will save yourself lots of heartache, wasted time and wasted resources. And be a past master at strategy implementation others will marvel at!