Ideally, all businesses should aim to create a strategy that is in line with the company vision, but this isn’t sufficient for ensuring that you’ll effectively reach your company goals. There are often instances of great strategy and poor execution, and in the case of the reverse, it really doesn’t matter how great your execution is, if your strategy was a bad one. So how can you increase the chances of both an effective business strategy as well as successful execution? Read on for some helpful guidelines.
To begin, it’s important that we rewind and begin by considering what I mean by strategy. When I refer to strategy, I am referring to the plan that is in place to achieve desired goals or results, which are in line with your company’s vision. For example, your company vision could be to become a global player in your industry, one of the goals could be to increase your client base, and one of the strategies you could have in order to achieve this goal, is to increase marketing efforts. The execution would involve the methods employed and actions take to increase marketing efforts.
If as an organization you have well defined goals, and you create a fantastic strategy to achieve these goals, then this is only half the battle won. The execution could very well be ineffective, which would render your strategy worthless. To avoid this, you need to take your planning to a deeper level, and align your vision to your goals, to your strategy, and to the actions that form part of that strategy. All actions planned should be assessed, and each action taken should be reviewed. This process should permeate throughout your organization so that at every level, everyone is working toward the company vision and strategy in a more effective way.
When developing your strategy, setting goals, and planning actions there are a number of factors to bear in mind, such as the team members and their ‘buy-in’ to the vision, their capacity to execute the strategy, and whether an organizational culture of responsiveness can be developed in order to minimize risks, and the adverse impacts of factors that disrupt execution. When considering these factors, among others, you may very well find that you have gaps in capacity, that there may need to be some staff development, or perhaps even an organizational restructure. Understandably, this may seem like more trouble that it’s worth… but I urge you not to underestimate the importance of aligning every aspect of your strategy, plans, actions and resource when working toward business development and success.
In the real world, it isn’t as easy as just being aware of the above and following the ‘steps,’ and the larger the organization, the more complications it will have. What helps in minimizing complications is being very clear about the vision and the strategy, and allowing for this to permeate every part of the organization, and to engage in an approach of inclusiveness and reflection when setting goals and determining actions to be taken to reach these goals. Inclusiveness and reflection as an approach allows for iterative feedback based on action and results, and can often prove more productive than consultancy, which fairly often backfire if teams are left feeling that their opinions have not been considered as a result of their suggestions are not implemented. By utilizing the above approach, teams throughout the organization are encouraged to take ownership and work toward the vision in a strategic way, and this synergy between strategists and executors tip the outcome in a more favorable direction.
(c) 2015, Noleen Mariapppen
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