How many times have you formulated a Strategy and 12 months down the line it seems as though nothing has happened?
It is one thing to formulate a strategy in the boardroom but quite another to execute it at all the levels of the company.
I have found that successful execution relies on 5 simple rules:
1. Focus On What You Want To Achieve
Prioritise your objectives
- Set a time frame.
- Focus on 2 or 3 critical objectives for that period.
Don’t try to achieve too much and set yourself up for failure.
2. Make the Objectives Non-Negotiable
Translate each of the objectives into an action.
- Take responsibility and accountability for each objective.
- Develop achievable action plans for each of the objectives.
Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based).
3. Give the Objectives Real Owners
The very nature of strategy objectives works against their execution. They’re developed at the management level, but execution involves specific individuals and teams.
- Appoint specific owners for each objective.
- Clarify the reporting line for each of the owners.
- Together they are responsible for each objective’s execution.
4. Separate Out Your Strategy Meetings
Strategic issues and operational issues always compete for management’s attention. All managers I know acknowledge that operational issues always take precedence.
- Create separate meeting schedules:
- Weekly meetings for operations reviews.
- Monthly meetings for strategic reviews.
- As the execution cascades down an organisation, adjust the frequency of execution meetings.
5. Appoint a Programme Monitor
We’ve all heard the saying “what gets measured, gets done”. But what we really respond to, is attention from our boss.
- Assign someone in authority to call objective owners to account by regularly inquiring about execution progress.
- Keep the momentum going – continuous adjustment, improvement and refinement.
When you stop paying attention to the strategy plan, it drops down everyone’s list of priorities.