Most business have a strategy in place whether it’s a detailed 100-page report or in the minds of the stakeholders. However, many of them fail because they are not worth executing. The problem is, that objectives may be clear, yet the actions are not set.
A strategy according to the London Business School involves having a clear set of choices of what you are going to do and what you are not going to do. The reason is that in a world where resources are limited, a business cannot execute all plans and ideas at the same time, therefore a choice needs to be made.
Think of strategy as a road map for a new trip. Which roads will get you there quicker? Have less road works? The least tolls? You set your trip on the parameters you define; shaping where you are going, how you are going to get there and where you don’t want to be.
A business strategy is also a medium to long term process often championed by the business owners so, it often gets put away and rarely reviewed or communicated. It’s important that the goals and vision is known from top to bottom, so an organisation can rally round and achieve together. This involves setting up communication channels where every person fills part of the process. At the end of the day, your business stakeholders must be ready to change and support a change culture.
Overall, my top tips to effectively implement strategy involve:
- Clearly list strategic steps that the business will take in the future.
- Don’t describe the outcome of the strategy (I want to be the biggest in my market), describe what you will do to achieve your goal
- A strategic plan is not a contract, it’s is plan. Therefore, regular review and adjustment where necessary is the only way to keep on track
- Where possible cost your strategic actions, and provide the business case (cost vs benefit)
- Communicate the logic behind the strategic plan to the whole business.
- Engage as many people as possible to the strategic process. After all, the owners of the business may not be the best people to implement and problem solve the actions
- Let people select themselves for the roles, we all like working with some people better than others.