This article assumes you HAVE a written strategic plan.
If you do not have a WRITTEN strategic plan, all that can be said is “BUILD ONE” and build it NOW.
If you are still with me, let’s talk about why strategy really fails:
Strategy generally does not fail when it is built. You can google “strategic plan” and find numerous templates which suffice. Cut paste and fill it out and you can create a serviceable plan. Hire a good facilitator if you really want a powerfully effective plan.
Strategic planning is one of the most critical components in today’s business world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most widely misunderstood components. There are two key aspects of strategic planning: building it, then executing upon it. Sadly, few companies do both well. I have experienced instances in which a company devises a brilliant strategic plan which is comprehensive, realistic, and well conceived. Much less frequently I have seen companies execute that plan well.
- The plan is dictated by a select few
- The plan is not cascaded through the organization
- employee commitment is lacking
- we have not “chunked” the plan down to shorter intervals (ie. quarterly and Monthly)
- a frequent and rigorous tracking of account-abilities and tactics is lacking
- Urgent fire drills displace the mission critical initiatives
The best plans provide a sense of common purpose, an alignment of goals, fosters collaboration and creates focus. The plan must cascade throughout the organization if you hope to achieve alignment and focus. The leadership team is chartered with establishing and communicating the vision. They in turn create the strategy with senior team members. The senior team then needs to develop the specific tactics, in conjunction with their teams, who are chartered with delivering on the tactical activities which make the plan a reality. It’s all quite simple actually, until we add customers, vendors, employees and a dynamic business environment.
Communications is the secret sauce to effectively execute a plan:
At the core of execution is establishing a frequent communications rhythm which holds everyone accountable to metrics and drive tactics. Weekly inspection of the key initiatives, tied to actionable items that are clearly assigned is paramount. These meetings must be powerful and prescriptive. As an example; a great communications cadence must include:
Weekly strategic review (90 minutes with executive team)
- review of key goals for the quarter
- review tactical Rocks required to achieve objectives
- Review of a company scorecard
- Review of action items (TO DO’s) assigned the previous week
- issues and opportunities
- Resolve top 3 issues
- update account-abilities and assigned action items
- Wrap up and cascade responsibilities
Weekly Departmental meetings (45-60 minutes led by each department heads and attended by the team members)
- Same agenda as above, but a deeper dive into the departmental initiative
Quarterly Review (a full day with the executive team)
- review of the previous quarterly goals, Rocks and accomplishments
- Re- set key goals, initiatives and account-abilities for the coming quarter
- Review your running list of issues / priortize and solve top 3
- incorporate all into your weekly meetings (see above)
Rinse and Repeat (every quarter)
the frequency and cadence of an effective enterprise looks something like this:
I know you are saying “that’s too many meetings” However, I want you to think about the score of meetings you attend each week, chasing the same issues you have been chasing forever. Think about the lost opportunities and inefficiencies created by lack of alignment and focus. Consider the power of aligning and focusing your entire team for the entire week with a focused 90 minute meeting.
My clients quickly learn that this process is infinitely more efficient. You will get more done and cease chasing symptoms. You will identify and resolve root cause issues allowing you to focus and grow.
The end result is a healthy organization.
…a single- mindedness of purpose and an ability to filter out distraction. It causes a motivated and mobilized team to act at all times in support of the vision.
How Healthy is your Organization?? FIND OUT HERE