One of the critical issues business leaders face is not failing to create a strategy, but actually executing it throughout the ranks of the organization. I challenge you to facilitate aligned execution - whether yours - or a member of your organization.
Execution is a set of linked activities that carry out the critical priorities and efforts that you have worked so hard to create.
Leaders are often trained (and coached) more in planning than they are in execution, which means that you tend to be more comfortable with strategy creation than implementation. Let's take a moment to look at the next step - the step that makes you more than a survivor in the next year – that is to turn planning into doing.
The most successful strategic outcomes are best achieved when the "rank and file" is also (appropriately) part of the planning and strategy process. "Buy-in" is critical and the greater the overlap between the doers and the planners, the more success you will have.
The Rockefeller Habits and the One Page Strategic Plan help you consciously consider execution while formulating plans. Therefore, execution is not an afterthought. Since all execution decisions cannot be taken at once, the strategy formulation and execution overlap is critical to carrying out your BHAG, Winning Moves, Key Thrusts, and accompanying priorities.
Successful Execution Becomes the Goal
Think of the execution of your One Page Strategic Plan as a process versus a single decision or action. As Lawrence Hrebiniak, author of Making Strategy Work (Wharton School Publishing, 2005) states, "Execution isn't the result of a single decision or action. It's the result of a series of integrated decisions or actions over time." When you integrate your strategy, decisions, and priorities through the Rockefeller Habits of meetings, metrics, and priorities, you create power, alignment and strength in your team.
In addition to being played out over longer periods of time, strategy implementation always involves more people than your strategy formulation. This creates additional challenges that can be best managed by Cascading the Rockefeller Habits throughout the organization – down to the front line. Here are some ideas to help you communicate throughout your organization to make execution as smooth and successful as possible:
1. Develop a logical planning, execution and communication model that works for you, your company, and your culture.
2. Keep the overlap between strategy and execution at the forefront of meetings.
3. Foster information sharing, coordination and clear accountability through dashboards, critical numbers, KPIs, and Quarterly Themes at a minimum.
4. Develop a culture that supports a robust execution process showing that it is not about catching someone doing wrong (read more about “A” players) but more about determining if you are off track with strategy/execution and what can be done about it.
Drive the connection between your strategy and the execution process. Don't let your strategic focus fade as it reaches the middle management and below. Confront this issue head-on by integrating strategy and execution into your habits, metrics, and priorities process from the beginning. Download our checklist to get your team started.