High-level strategy gives direction to the management team of a business. However, such high level plans can often prove to be of little use to other workers within the organisation. Aspects of the strategy must be distilled down to actions and plans which will drive the various areas of the business towards the common goals outlined in the overall strategy.
It is often said that a strategy doesn’t fail in its formulation but in its implementation. The key to implementing a strategy successfully is communication.
Many leadership teams, in their excitement and enthusiasm to turn their strategy into reality, fail to take the necessary steps to ensure that it can be delivered effectively by the various departments in the firm. Taking the time and energy to translate your strategic vision into operational success, demands that you focus on the following:
Communication – Your strategic intent and agenda should form the basis of all your communication with the business. When you make and communicate a decision, for example, you should clearly state how it will help move the strategy of the business forward.
Resources – Resources should be allocated on the basis of their ability to deliver the agreed strategy, and not simply reflect historic trends and decisions.
Alignment – The goals of the business must align with the objectives of the departments and people within the firm. Tiny differences of opinion in the boardroom can become huge divisions across the organisation, rapidly reducing your chances of successful implementation.
People – Your best and most appropriate people should be leading the delivery of your key strategic objectives. Not only does this increase the firm’s chances of success, but it also sends a signal to the business about what management considers to be important.
Accountability – The individual performances, and the collective performance of the team, should be directly based on implementing the strategy.
Measurement – Your KPIs should mirror the strategy, as should your associated rewards and bonuses. If you are serious about your strategy you will define appropriate ways to track its delivery and effectively report on progress.