Scroll to top
© Optimize Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Winning Ways

Optimize Blog - August 8, 2016 - 0 comments

Today, organizations of all kinds are re-evaluating their strategies as they face unprecedented levels of change in their industries and the world. While the strategic planning process often reveals significant threats and opportunities, organizations only benefit if they can capitalize on the good and avoid the bad with speed, great planning, and exceptional execution.
So the strategy consulting firm you’ve hired has just delivered its final presentation after months of work. They identified insights about the market, your competitors and your organization, all of which provided clarity for your senior leadership team about how to move your organization forward.
They also identified some key things your organization needs to do differently to successfully implement this new strategy. You bring this strategic plan to your board and you get approval to move ahead and execute. Now the strategy firm turns the process back over to you to execute, with some ongoing help and oversight from them.
What’s your next move? Implementation is where the rubber meets the road; however, it’s also typically where organizations falter.
A stunning, and very worrying statistic is that on average, 70% of new, large-scale strategic initiatives fall short of their goal according to the likes of Kotter International and McKinsey & Company. In most organizations, strategy implementation begins with the top executive convening his/her direct reports to ensure they are aligned with and supportive of the new plan and all its elements. These executives communicate to the next one or two levels of employees down about the plan and secure their buy-in.
Critical strategic initiatives are identified, and key executives are assigned to ensure that workflows are designed and implemented. Everyone heads off to get started with high hopes and motivation to make it all happen.
As the strategic initiatives go from planning to implementation, and begin to involve more and more people (who need to start doing things differently because of the new strategy), the system starts to get bogged down. The organization feels overwhelmed, projects stall, and the strategy implementation is delayed. Worse, it may halt altogether.
There are many reasons for the shift in momentum – tactical fires that need extinguishing, losing sight of the context and big picture, non-aligned agendas resurfacing, lack of early wins to name but a few. But this is the survival of the company at stake here – failure should not be an option.
The smart companies establish a steering committee to ensure that deadlines are met and to ensure that barriers and obstacles are removed. The steering committee coordinates multiple functions delivering multiple tasks. It holds people accountable.
The steering committee oversees the project plan – did you forget the project plan? Ah, so we should back up a bit….. Once the strategy is determined each deliverable needs to be broken down into its constituent parts – who is going to do what and by when. The critical path needs to be identified and the whole strategic elephant needs to be broken down into bite sized chunks. Executable tasks are cascaded via the corporate goal setting framework. This is the only way to avoid corporate indigestion…..
Treating the strategy delivery as somehow separate from the ‘real work’ is a major mistake that many organizations make. By applying project methodology to strategy delivery you improve your chances of success immeasurably. Furthermore delivery of the key elements is visible to all and momentum can be maintained. Communication of success can be facilitated and risks identified and mitigated earlier.
Don’t be one of the 70% that fail……focus on execution as this is the only way to ensure survival.

Related posts

Post a Comment