People get excited about having a strategy, but how many organisations stick to the plan and enable the team to effectively execute? Having a strategy is important, but it is even more critical to create the right conditions for execution and to stay the distance in order to realise the intended outcomes.
So how do you ensure that you stick to a strategic plan?
1. Designate a champion - A champion is a leader who can engage others and break down big projects into small steps. Your strategy should have a designated champion who will push the rest of the team towards implementing it. This champion does not have to be a senior manager or a person in senior leadership. You should also not designate yourself as the champion of your strategy. Find someone who is charismatic and great with interpersonal skills who can get others to engage with the plan.
2. Define responsibilities - When you have your strategic plan all written down, you must delegate responsibilities to make sure that everyone in your team and organisation understands his or her own components. Such clarity on responsibilities will allow the designated champion and other leaders to execute the plan without unexpected roadblocks and unnecessary slowdowns. Every person in your organisation should know what their role is in executing a strategic plan. As such, you will have check and balances that evaluate how well people have taken up their responsibilities and bring to account those that have veered away or are slowing down the implementation process.
3. Constantly clarify priorities - In the midst of implementing a strategic plan, it is easy to lose sight of the priorities. Your team could be focused on so much that they need constant reminders that your strategic plan takes priority. There are two ways to communicate the importance of your plan. One is by what you say and two is by what you measure. If you don’t communicate the importance of the plan in one week, then it is no longer a priority for them. In addition, if you are not evaluating your metrics according to your strategic plan, people will lose sight of it. People will usually spend time and effort in something they know they will be evaluated on.
4. Give time to see results - It takes time for a strategic plan to yield results. When you evaluate your plans too soon, you will likely get discouraged and start assuming that you have veered from the plan. Don’t expect final results from an incomplete process. Your strategy needs time to bear fruit before you start changing the direction or actions to achieve it.
5. Clarify how/if the plan changes - Along the way, you may have to incorporate some changes into the plan. You might find a better way of going about something listed in your strategic plan. When you decide to make a change to the plan, ensure that you get everyone on board. Otherwise, people will lose track of the plan and fail to stick to it.
Collagis is committed to helping businesses like yours to optimise workforce and organisational effectiveness. We'd love to hear from you to share how we can help you build clear and effective strategies for your business.
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