Strategic planning and strategy execution are two different things. Everyone can plan, but not all plans are easy to execute. If you reviewed the manifestos of so many politicians since 1996, a lot was put on paper, but not achieved. Why? Talk is cheap.
It is easier said than done.
Same thing happens with companies. Great plans are laid, but all fail at execution test. Leaders have a habit of taking a specific group of people for a strategy retreat once in a year. This is a good practice, if the selected team is representative of the core staff from the organization.
Before any organization takes staff on a strategy retreat, it is important to undertake a strategy &execution seminar in house. The strategy formulation and execution seminar focus on practical insights on the art of effective planning and execution. That is what great leaders are good at.
The staff learn about Winning The Game, a strategic approach developed by Summit Consulting Ltd, that links Playing To Win, to the Blue Ocean Strategy and the Balanced Score Card – all Harvard Business School award winning strategy models. That balanced score card training alone costs US $5,000 per staff from a great expert. But you will get all these insights at just US $2,400 for all your staff.
The strategy training helps create strategy awareness and the discipline of execution. You want your staff to understand their role in the journey. Strategy execution fails because of the following:
- Few leaders know about the strategy
- The behaviors for strategy execution are not clear to all staff
- The structure is not aligned to the strategy
- No clear strategy execution plan in place, and where it is, it is in abstract form as most core tactical and operational staff were not involved in the work plan formulation.
- The reporting mechanisms are poor – most staff want a direct report to the CEO which usually leads to power struggles
- Weak leadership, with poor strategy articulation and communication
- The strategy was formulated by the Board – in which case they did not make use of the qualified technical staff on ground. Much as strategy is a business of the board, they should approve it and not formulate it! Hope you understand the thin line. The board should not tell the executive how to kill the rats. It should tell them how many rats they need. Let the executive, the technical people, make recommendations to the board of the choices they have made on how they will kill the required rats. Once the board is happy, they can then approve. That means, the board must have a clear approved scorecard for the executive against which their strategy to deliver the scorecard targets is anchored.
- And many more.
On a scale of 10, how would you rank your strategy execution effectiveness? If you see signs of the existence of the above in you organization, chances of poor strategy execution are high.
Call Summit Consulting Ltd for a 45-minutes strategy talk to your Board of Directors or Senior Management team or staff. You will learn a lot about strategy and gain morale to perform to your potential.