Over the years I have helped save a lot of businesses and they have all shown the same errors.
- lack of strategic direction.
- Lack of goal setting
- Lack of defined objectives
We begin by setting the annual objectives so the goals are in place
Example (high level)
- Increase turnover by 5 million
- Implement standards that keep the business legally compliant
- Retain staff and invest in training
- Be the number 1 expert in your industry
These are high level objectives that require a strategy in order to achieve success
The Formulation Process
Formulating plans that determine what needs to be done in order to drive the business forward is the basis of strategic execution.
An effective strategic plan should be formulated by analysing the competitive environment in which the organisation operates and be based on seizing the opportunities that differentiate it in the marketplace.
However, a good strategy will only work if there is a solid execution plan in place to deliver it – with everyday actions set out that are aligned with that plan.
Having the ways and means in place to grasp opportunities and make operational decisions to quickly turn them into actions, will help produce concrete results.
The plan therefore needs to be flexible in order to respond to any changes that occur within the marketplace.
Ensure decisions are made by the right people
It is crucial that all managers understand their roles and responsibilities with regard to the strategy – as well as which decisions are theirs to make.
There needs to be a decision-making process in place, so that there is no doubt about who is responsible and accountable for each decision, before any action can begin.
Optimise a culture of execution
Everyone in the organisation should be able to feed into the decision-making process, allowing better informed decisions to be made, based on what will distinguish the organisation from its competitors.
Culture is built on a foundation of leadership behaviours, with flexibility to change and communication being the most important characteristics in support of strategy execution.
Organisational strategy should be communicated effectively as a set of strategic goals, with each goal assigned, resourced and actioned as a project or programme designed to carry out the strategy.
Other cultural behaviours needed include setting timelines and benefits for achieving the goals; quickly responding and adapting to changes; enabling business units to work with each other and providing flexible processes and structures to empower employees.
When it comes to innovation, a culture in which teams collaborate, easily exchange ideas and information, as well as use trial and error will be much more successful.
Put in place a flexible organisational structure across business units
Coordination between business units is needed so that managers are able to rely on colleagues in other units and collaborate with them.
Managing the strategy across units prevents silos and allows information to flow horizontally, which in turn ensures it gets to the top quicker.
A more flexible organisational structure will also allow for the following measures to be put in place: coordination of actions that span organisational boundaries; broadening of the reach of control; creation of informal networks across the organisation to encourage individuals to learn about other units’ work – all of which can greatly improve the chances of successful strategic execution.
Implement a system of review and accountability for results with performance rewards
Setting strategy should be a continual process, as should reviewing the strategy on a regular and ongoing basis, in order to keep up with any changes in the competitive environment.
The success or failure of strategy implementation should be measurable – with responsibility and accountability for those decisions and actions clearly assigned and put in place which are understood by everyone.
The creation of individual objectives that align with the organisation’s strategy will provide management with an excellent way to hold individuals accountable for achieving their goals, as well as the means to motivate them by rewarding behaviours like agility and teamwork.