Implementing a business strategy is often slowed down or even put on hold because of having to deal with day-to-day operational issues — like fighting fires.
Fighting fires often takes the management team on an extended journey of dealing with the demands of “immediacy” or the focus on the here and now rather than the future.
There is a simple way to deal with this issue; all it requires is the will to make it work and the discipline to act.
Start with setting time aside for the management to meet on a regular and structured basis. Make sure the timing is immutable and that all key people commit to the process. Take the meeting off line from the business or make it after hours if necessary.
This meeting should be set up, say monthly, with a specific agenda to deal with strategy-only topics.
The operational plan and budget should be driven from the revenue targets in the strategic plan.
Medium or even some smaller sized companies should consider creating their own “Office of Strategy Management” This could comprise in house team members coupled to external professional advisors that help to coordinate the activities needed to manage the strategy.
Naturally the executive team still needs to maintain their focus on operational improvement as well. However in today’s environment planning your strategy and carrying it out is critically important.
Here are the key action points to consider.
- Develop the strategy based on where you want to be.
- Plan the activities needed to make this happen.
- Align the organisation so there is support for the strategy.
- Devise the action plans to make the activities happen.
- Monitor and learn.
- Test and adapt.
by Neil Fairley
Workforce Advisors Group
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