Driving Strategy Through Your Organization
Most leaders are really good planners and develop strategic goals and objectives each year. Sort of a moving average type of thing.
The real issue is getting the execution of the strategic plan into the hands of the people who actually make the strategic plan happen. The everyday workers who come to the office or plant to execute some management plan of action for the day.
However, one of the sad things we continually find when working with organizations of all sizes. The leaders seldom have a clear plan of execution for the strategic plan. Therefore, the Plan sits on the book shelf and collects dust until the next planning session rolls around on the calendar.
Yet, their are high performing organizations – of all sizes and markets – who are achieving superior results to their competitors every year including downturns in the economy. How is this possible? Due to proper execution of their strategic plans – which in many cases has been cut down to a highly focused point of action.
So, let’s take a look at Four Critical Steps to Driving Strategy in Your Organization.
Four Steps Driving Strategic Implementation and Execution
- Create a Sense of Urgency
Look for quasi crisis issues that could impact your performance or derail your strategic initiatives. Here you want to get more people involved for improved creativity and innovation. Remember, what got you here today relative to results with not necessarily get you the results in the future. I know our company is in its fourth major redesign due to significant changes in the marketplace. Get people focused upon a major potential crisis and drive the changes.
- Challenges for Each Individual
Here one of the best techniques found for challenging each individual is to accumulate competitor intelligence and industry best practices and show your people how others are doing their work, processes and systems. The limiting step for most organizations is the “Not invented Here” stigma used to hold back creativity and innovative ideas generated elsewhere. Inflexibility to change is usually the real issue lead by some manager or group of well meaning managers who do not understand the importance of improving performance for the future.
- Improve the Skills of Employees
This is one of the most important issues for implementing strategic initiatives. If the people do not have the necessary skills to excel in new way of doing things – well, success will be limited. I run into this often when working with B2B sales teams. The skill sets of the sales team are based upon the Traditional Selling Model which was actually developed during the 1950’s and is based upon pushing sales using a presentation model. The current sales environment needs the Questioning Model of Selling for major account and enterprise selling and requires new skill sets for the sales team to be successful. (To Learn more about the New Model of Selling go to Developing B2B Sales.
- One Major Challenge at a Time
Too much of a good thing becomes a problem. The key word here is MAJOR and it impacts how you implement challenges to the organizations. People in organizations are seldom successful when hit with multiple major changes at the same time. It is too much for about half the adult population which needs time to accept change and fully integrate the changes into their work life. Create a Work Flow schedule for implementing several changes into your organization. Start with the one related to the need for a high sense of urgency and closely monitor the change effort and results. Then move to the next change – making certain is not in conflict with the first change initiative.
There you have the Four Steps to Driving Strategic Implementation and Execution. Take this list and reflect upon how well your organization is implementing these four critical steps. In fact, rate your organization on each step with a score between one to five. After doing this exercise you will have a cumulative score between zero to twenty.
Use your score as a barometer of your success. (I have to ask that you make certain you have not blue skied your answers and are dealing with reality in your scoring system.) (Also for those of you in the OD group, you can develop a key or guide for the scoring process within your company assuming you want a larger norm for accuracy of the survey.)
There you have a proven method for discovering the success or failure of your strategic implementation or execution for results. Use it and your results will improve dramatically.
Finally, one of the best things you can do for your organization is to simplify the strategic intent of your message while applying emotional wording to get faster acceptance and buy-in. The days of the cold and safe corporate speak are gone if you want to drive extraordinary results with your team of people.
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