November 3, 2012

Strategy Part Three: Strategy Execution

“The cardinal sin of many executive teams is that they finish the plan, then go back to their day jobs – John Delany.  This is the greatest challenge to Strategy Execution. We formulate our strategy plan and then abandon it. 

Your team already has invested a great deal of time and energy in Strategy Formation where they have:

  • Clarified the core values and vision for the organization.
  • Created a “stop-list” of outdated and ineffective programs that need to be eliminated.
  • Identified the top five objectives for the organization with expected results.

And Strategy Function where your team has:

  • Designed the strategic model of how the organization will work in the future.
  • Selected a strategic driver to ensure the plan gets implemented.
  • Built the strategy plan in an easy to review format to keep it visible.

It’s now time for Strategy Execution – where plans actually come to life and transform the organization moving it from good to great and beyond. So how do we ensure execution actually takes place? Great question!

Here are the four critical steps to Strategy Execution.

1. Position the strategy plan: to ensure your strategy plan is executed well – include it in your regular lead team meetings. Have team members submit updates to the designated “strategic driver” on the team prior to each lead team meeting and review progress as well as resolve problems. 

2. Initiate action with accountability: in the lead team meeting as well as in one on one coaching sessions with team members initiate accountability. Everyone needs to understand they have a critical part in the plans success. When they complete their assignments the team wins and when they don’t we all lose.  
3. Coach the players: depending upon a person’s behavior style “fear of failure” can be a road-block to people completing their assignments. Also “permission to proceed” is an issue at times as well. As a team leader our role is to encourage and problem solve with people. Be the trusted advisor who supports your team members with sound solutions and your Strategy Execution will soar. 
4. Celebrate the successes: we love to watch sports because we want to see who wins. In Strategy Execution we need wins. Help your team identify the wins as you progress through implementing your strategy plan. Celebrate your wins with gift cards for people and words of affirmation. Celebration keeps motivation and morale high and failure low.

The preferred future contained in your strategic plan can become your present reality if you work the strategy process.  Next up is the final post in the strategy series – Strategy Part Four: Strategy Skills. In this final post we will discuss the best practices that keep strategy working.

The fourth quarter is an excellent time of year to engage in strategy planning. I highly recommend you invite your lead team to engage in building your strategy plan for the next year – preparing for exceptional growth.

To your excellence,

Coach Greg