A Winning Strategy Does Not Guarantee Success
You also need to execute. While effective execution involves many elements, what’s key is your ability to set priorities, engage leaders, and nurture a focused and dedicated company culture.
“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It’s unfortunate, but many still believe a good strategy is all that is needed for success. In far too many organizations business execution is relegated to a secondary role. A 2013 survey of 587 senior executives found that implementation was seen as strategic in only 17% of their companies. At 56% of the firms, it was considered an operational task.
The result: 50-90% of strategic initiatives fail.
Is your organization ready to make your strategy a reality? Begin by asking the following questions:
- Are your priorities clear?
Setting clear priorities — proactively deciding what to do, and when to do it — is the only way to keep your organization on task. When setting priorities consider:
- Impact – Be selective. Focus your energy on only those initiatives that are likely to deliver the greatest impact.
- Urgency – Proper sequencing is vital. Identify and attend to urgent tasks first. Supporting tasks can follow.
- Limitations – It takes time, people and other resources to execute strategic initiatives. Recognize your limitations and don’t proceed without the means necessary to get the job done.
- Do you have enough champions?
Proper execution requires catalysts who can drive action and keep efforts focused and moving forward. Champions capable of providing performance leadership to complex projects possess:
- Business acumen – Initiative leaders need a clear, comprehensive knowledge of how sales, operations and administrative functions operate in the business.
- Experience – Initiative champions must have the proven ability to lead peers and drive cross functional cooperation and engagement.
- Capacity – Even the most talented champion will fail if they lack the bandwidth they will need to effectively lead a strategic initiative while also delivering on their regular responsibilities.
- Do you have an execution culture?
Without the requisite authority and support, even an effective leader will fail.
- Empowerment – An empowered employee has the tools, training, resources, encouragement and motivation needed to perform at the optimum level.
- Accountability – Leaders must own and be held responsible for delivering the outcomes of the initiatives they champion. This oversight need not be confrontational. The key is to focus on performance — not the individual.
- Nimbleness – Things seldom go as planned. Organizations must have the ability to adapt and respond appropriately to the unexpected, while simultaneously achieving their goals.
Want to know more? I invite you to contact me today. Together, we can determine how best to execute your business strategy
Thanks for your consideration.