With organizations going through major inflection points in their business, one theme is consistent… companies can’t continue doing what they have always done. So it’s determined that the development of a new strategy is needed to align to the rapidly evolving business landscape. Your team convenes for a ‘planning session’. The end result is some form of a strategic roadmap with corresponding tactics. This gets summarized, socialized, and distributed to the respective teams to begin execution.
Fast forward a few months and management finds progress on the plan is either limited, or the execution isn’t meeting the intended outcomes. Why?
From our experience, this gap occurs when the current reality of the business is not fully mapped to the desired end state. It requires answering some fundamental questions to help assess what it would really take to operationalize these initiatives. Questions like:
- What skills and knowledge are needed to reach your goals and do your current employees possess these capabilities?
- Are additional resources needed? At what capacity are your existing resources and can they truly take on more?
- Are your internal policies, procedures, and processes flexible and agile enough to enable to you to move quickly?
- Is the current organizational culture one that will embrace change? Will inertia or status quo be likely to limit forward movement?
- Is cross-functional, cross-departmental collaboration and openness a challenge?
- Will the existing systems enable your organization to achieve what the business needs?
Taking a holistic view to assess the level of effort in implementing your strategy is critical - because now more than ever, everything is a connected system. It means understanding the organizational, structural and procedural capabilities in order to effectively build the operational roadmap. It means identifying risks and tradeoffs to reach near term milestones and meetsr longer-term goals. It’s figuring out how to iterate and optimize as you execute while still staying true to the end objectives.
In the end, a strategy isn’t a strategy if it can’t be executed consistently and successfully. Bringing the strategy to life so that your customers and employees see and benefit from it is what really matters.