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Optimize Blog - January 9, 2017 - 0 comments

McKinsey research tells us that 70% of change efforts fall short of the desired results and it is far too easy to blame this on a lack of effective communication.  Some companies develop a strategy and seemingly hide it under a rock. The failure to communicate the vision and strategic objectives to those required to deliver it means that the architects of the strategy aren’t getting out enough information for people to understand what they’re supposed to do with it. 
But as essential as having a clear and consistent message is, the issues run deeper and are far more complex.  For effective strategy execution you need a very good execution plan and you need an enabling culture.
Will Rogers once noted that even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. What we encounter in many failed strategy initiatives is the inability for the organization to actually execute.
We frequently come across the situation where the executive team work on the notion that osmosis comes into play by assuming that strategy execution will just happen after the initial push to get things started, which is about as likely to happen as being struck by lightning while cleaning a hen’s teeth.
What needs to happen is a formal process for executing the strategy – just think, you could even link it to goals and objectives….!  Corporate strategy by its very nature requires the linking of multiple streams of activity and such complexity needs careful but rigorous handling – it won’t just happen by some intangible force of nature.  Regular and concerted effort is required to maintain momentum and it requires follow-through, or follow-up for that matter, from all levels of leadership.
All talk and no action will kill your strategy execution stone dead. It is essential to assign and hold individuals accountable for delivering on the goals and objectives. There needs to be a clear line of sight for each individual between what they come in and do on a daily basis and how it contributes to the execution of the corporate strategy in delivering the vision.  The conversation should go along the lines of “this is the objective, this is how we’re going to get there, here is your part in the plan and you will be held accountable and rewarded for your part in its success.”
Equally many teams fail because they make the assumption that their team has the wherewithal to pull it off and they therefore do not manage the process.  It appears that for them ‘hope’ is indeed the strategy……  Often times there is a lack of ability or the lack of willingness from those who are needed to step up and truly lead the effort to bring the strategies from paper to production. The message here is that when it comes to strategy execution, we are all called to lead from wherever we are, even if we’re not at the top.
To truly deliver a successful strategic change, the leadership needs to ensure that the appropriate culture exists – a culture where collaboration, a passion for results and emotional allegiance exists.  Such a culture creates the environment of engagement from those required to deliver.
Having a great plan supported within a great culture enhance your chances of success greatly.  Equally no plan or a poor plan and a poor culture will doom you to failure…….

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