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.

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