Failing to plan, plan to fail. We all know this. However, many businesses who create a strategy or business plan fail to execute it to any significant degree. This is because it requires change, commitment, innovation, leadership and numerous other things to align your business in a way that facilitates the execution of your plan.
These 5 steps will help you to successfully execute your business strategy:
Clarify your vision
Define what the business will look like if your strategy is executed successfully. Develop a summary of that vision and communicate it to all stakeholders. Communication must also be consistent – keep the vision in front of your team and make it a part of their daily lives. People cannot follow you successfully if they don’t know where you want to go.
As part of your planning process, you should develop 4 or 5 critical goal categories. Each of these categories should be broken down and given specific goals with due dates, metrics to show progress and the names of the people that are accountable for their completion.
Align systems and people
This is the step where most businesses encounter trouble with strategy execution, as they do not take the critical step of aligning people and processes to attain their vision. They just assume that the firm will “figure it out”. All systems, people, incentives and business processes must be aligned with the new strategy. People must understand what they need to do and how their role affects successful execution of the strategy. They must get help in establishing priorities on what to do, as well as what not to do, to ensure that the overall strategy doesn’t get lost in the day-to-day.
The business should hold annual reviews of their current strategy and how outside forces have impacted on it. The aim of the review should be to determine whether the strategy is still valid, whether the firm is making adequate progress and what customers think. Strategy execution doesn’t just happen; it must be driven with the same commitment that built the business in the first place.