Developing a cohesive strategy is important for any business to succeed and outperform its competitors. Strategic planning is not easy, but the real secret to success is not in the planning phase, but in how you implement this strategy in your business. Tom Wright, CEO and founder of Cascade, shares five points to keep in mind for a successful implementation.
Although many organizations make a tedious effort to develop a strategic plan, making tangible changes in business practices can often be challenging. This usually happens when the approach is not fully in line with the current structure of the enterprise, the future needs of the business, which are unique to its vision and the culture that the organization wants to build. Here are five highlights to overcome this problem and make sure your strategy is built into your business.
Five keys to unlocking the potential of strategy implementation
Here are five key factors to keep in mind when developing a business strategy that fits your goals and is easily implemented.
1. To commit. Commit. Commit.
Developing a strategy includes reflection and an honest review of your activities and how well they meet your expectations. Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How do you get there? With all the effort in the strategic planning process you better be willing to invest even more in the implementation of the strategy.
A long-term organizational strategy cannot be implemented in a few days. It can take weeks to relate it to every business process and make sure every manager and employee also understands and accepts. During this friction the best thing you can do is be patient, understand and follow the strategy you have put together.
Consider: C-Suite is meeting to discuss a new long-term strategy, but implementation remains a belated thought. This leaves day-to-day operations as always, and the new strategy floats on the air above.
Next steps: Instead of letting this situation continue, make sure you take the time to plan your strategy accurately. This includes how specifically this will be implemented. Keep meeting with executives and managers to develop effective change in line with the long-term vision you are focused on.
2. Combine strategy with structure
The structure of your organization will affect how the strategy can be executed. Ask yourself:
- Is each person and component ready to implement a new strategy? If not, what changes must take place to make this a reality?
- What disruptions can there be in the implementation of this strategy?
Sometimes the structure and strategy are already agreed. But if the new goal now covers multiple departments, you may need to think about reorganizing departments and teams to address these specific challenges. Otherwise, you risk getting confused between teams or one team, assuming the other will do the job, and vice versa. When a new strategy comes into play, it’s okay if the team structure changes over time. Changes need to be treated as usual and accepted. It is important to go through the planning stage and outline goals and objectives for specific people and teams.
Consider: The media company is following a new strategy and understands that the video department needs to be redeployed. But the department is key to many other teams. Thus, instead of making drastic changes overnight, the department can be slowly reduced, and specific interagency activities are reduced one by one.
Next steps: Consider the effect of reducing or increasing to one department. How will this affect the company as a whole? Keep this in mind when making changes.
3. Attach strategy to culture
It is important to make sure that organizational leaders and cultural models to follow follow strategies and visions. When a leader supports a new action plan, it’s easier to get the rest of the team to accept the idea.
Starting with the C-Suite and down, everyone needs to understand the long-term vision. The strategy must be tied to the goal and values. Leaders need to communicate the context of the strategy and why change is happening. The goal should be reinforced on a daily basis so that each employee knows what he is working on. And anything that doesn’t fit the company’s goals or values should be discarded.
Consider: The new strategy was developed without taking into account the feedback of key employees. These people are unlikely to support the new approach.
Next steps: Make sure all voices are heard, even those not normally involved in strategy-level discussions. Make sure all leaders are consulted. When developing a strategy, consider values, goals, and culture.
4. Create an environment for strategy success
Even if you properly organize your teams to implement a strategy in terms of resources, that doesn’t mean it will start working right away. Change requires time, concentration and compromise. It also needs an environment that promotes growth and support through ups and downs.
Communication is the key. You can’t talk too much during change. Keeping all participants going will allow iteration strategies and adaptability to run more smoothly. Get everyone on one page invaluable to the organization. The changes are, of course, difficult. Clarify what is happening and why. Make everyone responsible. Let teams and individuals know their success rates and give them the tools and support to achieve and exceed those goals.
Consider: The manufacturing company decided to focus on its core product line by stopping the production of others. Management did not explain to staff why these changes are being made, which creates confusion.
Next steps: Explain why the old strategy no longer works and why a new one is being introduced. Make sure that employees who change roles receive the training and support needed to perform new tasks well.
Read more: The growth of self-service IT
5. Realistic goals and objectives
When a new strategy is implemented, the goals associated with them may seem daunting. If they are unrealistic or seem so at first, it can negatively affect employees. Make goals and objectives manageable during change. Slowly they may change over time as a new strategy progresses.
Consider: The leader has huge ambitions to grow and achieve financial goals. The strategy has been designed to achieve these goals, but they seem so far-reaching that employees feel upset.
Next steps: Make sure feedback is heard during strategy conversations. This ensures that goals are set in reality.
Moving forward strategically
Implementing a new strategy is a difficult task for any organization. It takes commitment to the vision when you plan a new course, courage and willingness to change for that new vision, piece by piece if needed. Given all the key factors – from structure, culture and environment to relationships and goals – success is on the horizon and within reach.
More about the implementation of the strategy:
https://www.toolbox.com/tech/it-strategy/guest-article/essentials-of-strategy-implementation/ Master plan: 5 main points of strategy implementation