Putting a business strategy to work.

Everyone loves a ‘strategy’ day – discussing ideas animatedly; writing on whiteboards and post-its; and making a fantastic plan for the year ahead. The problem comes once the dust has settled, and the execution of the strategy has to happen. My solution? Rather than thinking of strategic planning as an annual event, you must to make it part of your organisation’s culture.

In very basic terms, companies usually define their strategy by identifying where they are now, where they want to be in the future, and then trying to bridge the gap between with actions. The answer to changing something – anything – in an organisation is never ‘keep doing the same thing’. To elicit change, and cross that gap to where you want to be, you need to do something different – break the habit and change how you work every day. That’s what I mean by making strategy part of your company’s culture, rather than having one meeting a year and expecting your teams to change how they work.

If you want to turn your business strategy into action, then start by checking where you are at the moment:

  1. How do you currently communicate your strategy?
  2. How do you measure your progress?
  3. How do you stay on track throughout the year?
  4. How do you encourage ‘buy in’ throughout your organisation?

Be honest with your answers, and then ask yourself if you can really expect your strategy to become action by going down this route.

Strategic planning often gets more attention and resources than getting the plan into action. How involved has your staff been in the planning stage? If the answer is ‘not at all’, then how do you expect them to make a change and embrace your plans?

Lack of engagement and ‘buy in’ is just one of the most common barriers to making a strategy a success, but there are many. However, if the same amount of energy and resources that went into the planning stage is invested into the ‘action’ stage, you’ll be planning to succeed instead of planning to fail.

If you are struggling to put your planning to work, get in touch and see how Lavery McGlynn can help.

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