Implementation is the Key
Implementation is the process that turns strategies and plans into actions to accomplish strategic objectives and goals. Implementing your strategic plan is vital and is as essential, or even more important, than your strategy.
Critical actions move a strategic plan from a document that sits on the shelf to activities that drive business growth. Sadly, the majority of companies who have strategic plans fail to implement them.
According to Fortune Magazine, nine out of ten organizations fail to achieve their strategic plan for many reasons:
- 60% of organizations don’t link strategy to budgeting
- 75% of organizations don’t link employee incentives to policy
- 86% of business owners and managers spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy
- 95% of the typical workforce doesn’t understand their organization’s strategy.
A strategic plan provides a business with the roadmap it needs to pursue a specific strategic direction and set of performance goals, deliver customer value, and be successful. However, this is just a plan; it doesn’t guarantee that the desired performance is reached any more than having a roadmap guarantees the traveller arrives at the desired destination. Interestingly, a goal without a plan, I call nothing more than a wish.
Getting Your Strategy Ready for Implementation
For those businesses that have a plan in place, wasting time and energy on the planning process and then not implementing the idea is very discouraging. Although the topic of implementation may not be the most exciting thing to talk about, it’s a fundamental business practice that’s critical for any strategy to take hold.
The strategic plan addresses the what and why of activities, but implementation addresses the who, where, when, and how. The fact is that both pieces are critical to success. Companies can gain a competitive advantage through implementation if done effectively. In the following sections, you’ll discover how to get support for your complete implementation plan and how to avoid some common mistakes.
Avoiding the Implementation Pitfalls
Because you want your plan to succeed, heed the advice here and stay away from the pitfalls of implementing your strategic plan.
Here are the most common reasons strategic plans fail:
- Lack of ownership: The most common reason a plan fails is lack of ownership. If people don’t have a stake and responsibility in the program, it’ll be business as usual for all but a frustrated few.
- Lack of communication: The plan doesn’t get communicated to employees, and they don’t understand how they contribute.
- Getting mired in the day-to-day: Owners and managers, consumed by daily operating problems, lose sight of long-term goals.
- Out of the ordinary: The plan is treated as something separate and removed from the management process.
- An overwhelming plan: The goals and actions generated in the strategic planning session are too numerous because the team failed to make tough choices to eliminate non-critical steps. Employees don’t know where to begin.
- A meaningless plan: The vision, mission, and value statements are viewed as fluff and not supported by actions or don’t have employee buy-in.
- Annual strategy: Strategy is only discussed at yearly weekend retreats.
- Not considering implementation: Implementation isn’t discussed in the strategic planning process. The planning document is seen as an end in itself.
- No progress report: There’s no method to track progress, and the plan only measures what’s easy, not what’s important. No one feels any forward momentum.
- No accountability: Accountability and high visibility help drive change. This means that each measure, objective, data source, and initiative must have an owner.
- Lack of empowerment: Although accountability may provide strong motivation for improving performance, employees must also have the authority, responsibility, and tools necessary to impact relevant measures. Otherwise, they may resist involvement and ownership.
It’s easier to avoid pitfalls when they’re identified. Now that you know what they are, you’re more likely to jump right over them!
DELIVERING WHAT YOU PROMISE
and getting your team to do the same
Do you meet the obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to yourself and to others?
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study in 2010 on accountability and found out that the probability of completing a goal is:
- 10% – If you have an idea or a goal actually.
- 25% – If you consciously decide you will do it.
- 40% – If you decide when you will do it.
- 50% – If you plan how you will do it.
- 65% – If you commit to someone, you will do it.
- 95% – If you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.
After reading this, how likely are you to achieve your; goals, promises, obligations and commitments alone?
Book your FREE Unboxing Session with me ‘The Accountability Guy’ and we’ll examine exactly where you’re at, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and we’ll take a look at your priorities to set the path moving forward. Each Unboxing Session includes:
- 60-90min obligation-free Zoom chat about your goals, promises and commitments
- Examine your priorities
- Review your ‘To-Do List’ and we’ll dig-in to how you will implement
- Together, we will create a plan and set timelines
For more information visit: call me directly: +61 418-379 369.