March 23, 2010
In Chapter Twenty of my new book BE DiFFERENT or be dead: Your Business Survival Guide, I outline critical Practices to ensure the strategy for your organization is effectively executed.
BD Practice #1 - Over-communicate your strategy to everyone in your organization. The overall strategy for the organization must be well understood by every person in it. If people don’t completely understand the direction - and how it is different from the present course - how will they know what to do to bring the strategy to life? Spend copious amounts of time communicating the strategy throughout your organization; and do it face-to-face to allow for questions of clarification. One-way ‘conversations’ won’t work.
BD Practice #2 - Translate the strategy into what it means for every function, department and business unit in the organization. For example, what does it require sales to do? Marketing? Customer Service? Operations? Every operating entity needs to know precisely what it needs to do day-in and day-out to make the strategy come alive. This direct Line of Sight from an operating unit, for example, to the business strategy will avoid the common dilemma of different directions being taken because different interpretations of the strategy have been made.
Last Point: Ensure the leader(s) of the organization see how each department interprets the organization’s strategy and that they approve them. This is the only way to ensure that the strategic intent gets driven through the company consistently. Failure to do this will typically result in Strategic Dysfunction: a variety of interpretations of the strategy and actions that diverge from the intended strategic results.
BD Practice #3 - Rationalize the portfolio of action plans and tactics into the high priority ones that will drive 80% of the results expected. This is a difficult task as it requires an intimate understanding of your strategy and what it takes to deliver results with a minimum amount of resource commitment.
BD Practice #4 - Establish a learning feedback loop on how implementation is going and whether the results gained were consistent with what was expected. Every unit in your organization must participate in order to Plan on the Run.
BD Practice #5 - Create a process to integrate your execution learnings into adjustments to your strategy. Execute >> Learn >> Adjust >> Execute >> Learn >> Adjust >>
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