The Facts are the Facts!
What do many senior executives consider to be one of their most pressing challenges? According to recent studies, many say "consistent execution of the firm's strategy" is at the top of the list. Business leaders acknowledge an imbalance exists between strategy development and execution. Although organizations spend large amounts of time, money, and resources developing their strategies, they often fail to enlist the same level of energy to actually execute these strategies.
Consider the following:
- 90% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution
- Only 27% of a typical company's employees have access to the company's strategic plan
- 95% of employees do not understand their organization's strategy
Avoid becoming part of these alarming statistics! Execute your strategy by following these steps!
1. Plan the Implementation.
- Make it real! Avoid abstract plans and ensure that people can relate the strategy to their work. Clear, consistent plans work best.
- Make sure people are committed to the strategy, involve employees in the creation of the implementation plan, and get buy-in.
- Set realistic time commitment and schedule expectations.
2. Minimize the Resistance to Change!
- Create an open environment where people feel safe to raise their objections and concerns about the strategy.
- Be clear about the strategy's importance and eliminate conflicting priorities.
3. Provide the Resources.
- Make sure you have the right people involved. Ensure employees have the required competencies that are needed to enable the strategy.
- Dedicate resources. Don't just pile on work to existing workloads and expect the plan to be implemented.
- Expand employee skills through training, recruitment, and new hires to include new competencies.
- Budget appropriately. Don't underestimate or worse, not identify, costs.
4. Hold Employees Accountable.
- Continually assess work toward the strategic plan in employee performance, rewarding and penalizing accordingly.
5. Monitor and Measure.
- Be certain that proper control systems are in place to measure and track the execution of the strategy.
- Identify and track metrics that represent key drivers for success.
6. Be Flexible.
- Circumstances change--make sure your plan accounts for those changes.
- If you find your strategy is bad or obsolete, don't try to implement it. Recognize it for what it is, define a new strategy, and move forward.
7. Lead by Example.
- Demonstrate your own commitment to the strategy and make sure your actions align with the strategy.
- Enable and support your employees to do the job you expect of them.
- Schedule time each week to work specifically on strategy.
- Avoid complacency by establishing and leading a culture of continuous improvement.
These are the seven steps that will ensure your strategy moves from theoretical to practical, from concept to reality. An important reminder: Communication is key throughout. Your strategic plan should be front and center and employees should understand the strategy's importance to the company, as well as what it means to them individually. Make strategy part of your everyday conversation...and follow the talk with definitive action!
About RCR Associates
If you need help executing your business strategy, contact us today!