One of the big problems with strategic plans is that they never get executed.
The best laid plans and intentions at the strategy workshop, the energy and enthusiasm can quickly abate when the realities of day to day work are imposed on those who have to make the strategy happen.
How can that be overcome? Well there are a few key tricks:
- A plan which has been built on consensus and collaboration – easier to understand, easier to engage, easier to enthuse others
- A plan which is simple and articulate and that can be easily explained and “sold” right through the organisation to the coal face
- A set of short term milestones which when executed lead to achievement of interim milestones and ultimately long term objectives – shorter time frames and narrower terms of reference
- Responsibilities shared for implementation, not left to one or two key players
- A good governance model which tracks progress on a regular basis and communicates it back into the organisation
- If practical a reward system which links personal reward to organisation/divisional/personal strategic achievement(s)
If this is done correctly it avoids the last minute rush to action strategic plans when progress reporting is due! This is what some people call “hockey stick” implementation. And believe me when this approach is adopted you are always playing catch up and rarely if ever have I seen a client catch up.
So don’t fall for the trap of having a great vision but little action – that is just dreaming. And worse still don’t take action without vision – that is just activity!