There are two things I feel confident saying:

1) Most companies have a strategic plan.

2) Most companies fail on some level to execute that plan.

Let me help you get to the next level using three simple steps.

1. Recognize the Problem.

“But David, we don’t have a problem.”

This is possibly my favourite line when I first start talking to executives about their strategic plans.

So many executives believe that once the plan is built, the work is done.  There is an unwritten and often unspoken understanding that the execution of the plan is someone else’s job.  As Larry Bossidy past-CEO of Allied Signal, GE and Honeywell says, “Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong…it’s a leader’s most important job.”

If we are in this together, if we all truly want this organization to succeed, then we need to work together, beyond the pay-grades and a across the silos to connect our plan with the end results.

  • The first step is to examine the plan in relation to the 7 elements that make execution possible.
  • Then isolate which of the seven elements are creating a gap between the vision and the result.
  • Then create the plan that bridges the gap between your strategic plan and its execution.

Let me help you get to the next level using three simple steps.

1. Recognize the Problem.

“But David, we don’t have a problem.”

This is possibly my favourite line when I first start talking to executives about their strategic plans.

So many executives believe that once the plan is built, the work is done.  There is an unwritten and often unspoken understanding that the execution of the plan is someone else’s job.  As Larry Bossidy past-CEO of Allied Signal, GE and Honeywell says, “Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong…it’s a leader’s most important job.”

If we are in this together, if we all truly want this organization to succeed, then we need to work together, beyond the pay-grades and a across the silos to connect our plan with the end results.

  • The first step is to examine the plan in relation to the 7 elements that make execution possible.
  • Then isolate which of the seven elements are creating a gap between the vision and the result.
  • Then create the plan that bridges the gap between your strategic plan and its execution.

2. Build a culture of success around your plan.

“But David, what if we don’t know our culture?”

That’s no problem. The strategic plan dictates the culture by the very nature of the success you are trying to achieve as a company. 

Meaning, as you successfully solve each problem that’s keeping your team in the gap between the plan and the result, you are systematically developing a success culture.

To build a reliable, strong, execution engine:

  • Everyone needs to be in on the plan.
  • Upper management down to the rank and file need to help pinpointing the gaps.
  • Each area needs to help solve the problems.

In many cases, management just needs to wave the strategic plan flag every once in awhile to remind people of its existence, and most importantly to remind them what part they play and how it will affect them.

Often, I find that a compelling keynote with a mini-workshop is enough to stir the embers and start the conversation.  This helps shift the culture of hierarchal work segmentation, and brings all the players together to work as a team.

A logical by-product of solving the problem is a culture of success.

2. Build a culture of success around your plan.

“But David, what if we don’t know our culture?”

That’s no problem. The strategic plan dictates the culture by the very nature of the success you are trying to achieve as a company. 

Meaning, as you successfully solve each problem that’s keeping your team in the gap between the plan and the result, you are systematically developing a success culture.

To build a reliable, strong, execution engine:

  • Everyone needs to be in on the plan.
  • Upper management down to the rank and file need to help pinpointing the gaps.
  • Each area needs to help solve the problems.

In many cases, management just needs to wave the strategic plan flag every once in awhile to remind people of its existence, and most importantly to remind them what part they play and how it will affect them.

Often, I find that a compelling keynote with a mini-workshop is enough to stir the embers and start the conversation.  This helps shift the culture of hierarchal work segmentation, and brings all the players together to work as a team.

A logical by-product of solving the problem is a culture of success.

3. Invest in the tools and time necessary to get the problem solved. 

The tools range from simple communication protocols, to an investment in specific software to track and manage action items. Most organizations typically need a little housekeeping before they should invest in strategy execution software, but as the old adage goes, ‘if you can’t solve the problem without technology, you won’t be able to solve it with.’

We use three simple steps to get results:

  • We ensure the process is well defined.
  • We clarify that the players know what they are doing.
  • We confirm that the system is in place to make the strategic plan come alive and stay alive.

All without software.

Then, and only then, should we talk about automation.

This is a valuable exercise for those that have a foundation of strong execution practices already. My goal is to get teams there quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.

Once the three steps have been completed, it’s simple a process of reviewing the results and adapting new tools as necessary. 

3. Invest in the tools and time necessary to get the problem solved. 

The tools range from simple communication protocols, to an investment in specific software to track and manage action items. Most organizations typically need a little housekeeping before they should invest in strategy execution software, but as the old adage goes, ‘if you can’t solve the problem without technology, you won’t be able to solve it with.’

We use three simple steps to get results:

  • We ensure the process is well defined.
  • We clarify that the players know what they are doing.
  • We confirm that the system is in place to make the strategic plan come alive and stay alive.

All without software.

Then, and only then, should we talk about automation.

This is a valuable exercise for those that have a foundation of strong execution practices already. My goal is to get teams there quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.

Once the three steps have been completed, it’s simple a process of reviewing the results and adapting new tools as necessary. 

Is Your Strategic Plan Failing?

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