Delivering Your Strategy
Once you have developed a strategy, you need to plan how best to deliver it to ensure that your strategic plan becomes a reality. This article takes you through a number of steps to follow to effectively implement delivering your strategy.
Communicating Your New Strategic Plan
Ask employees to attend an informational company meeting about an exciting new strategy.
- Explain the reasons for the strategy. Detail where the old strategy fell short and what you hope to achieve with the new one. Give specifics whenever possible.
- Roll out the new strategy with excitement and energy. Refer to handouts, if applicable, and demonstrate how the new process will better suit the company needs.
- Run down a list of differences between the previous strategy and the new one. Illustrating the differences between the two will help convince the team of the benefits of the change.
- Solicit questions from the team. Allow them to express their concerns and find answers together.
- Schedule a follow-up meeting to allow teammates to ask more detailed questions after they’ve had time to communicate with one another. Be prepared to repeat the new strategy frequently and nudge employees towards the changes as necessary.
Define Metrics, Timelines and Responsibilities
- Create the detail behind your strategies: namely, how success will be measured, the timeframe and who will be responsible.
- Metrics: How will success on this strategy/tactic be measured? What is the desired outcome from the strategy/tactic?
- Timelines: When should it start and when should it be finished? Which strategies/tactics are urgent because they have other strategies/tactics contingent on their completion?
- Roles, responsibilities and resources: Who and what is needed to ensure success? Who will be accountable for each element of its success?
Measure Progress in the Strategic Plan
You can measure how well strategic plan implementation is progressing through key indicators such as revenue, gross sales and the number of new customers.
As the strategic planning team, you must decide what measurements are most applicable to long-term strategic objectives.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. So what things should you be measuring? Here are a few ideas:
- Number of new customers
- Total new product sales and cross-sells
- Percentage margin
- Return on assets
- Premium levels
- Loss ratios
- Return on investment
- Market share
- Employee morale
- Customer satisfaction
What will you Measure?
Finally, to keep your strategic plan alive, you must continuously monitor it. Here are some guidelines.
- Review progress. Do this on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on the level of activity and time frame of the strategic plan. Specific tasks should be part of relevant strategic management meetings.
- Challenge underlying assumptions. While monitoring the strategic plan’s progress, continue to examine its underlying assumptions, the continued validity of its strategic objectives and the influence of unanticipated events.
- Stay committed. Every strategy-related action must have a due date. If you keep following up, your team will see that you’re serious about the strategy and putting it into effect.
- Conduct short-term strategy reviews. We suggest scheduling team meetings every 90 days to keep the strategic plan reviewed, reloaded and re-energised. These meetings also allow you to distinguish those individuals who are getting things done and those who aren’t. Alternatively, you can schedule 60-day strategy reviews by senior management. These are an opportunity to take another look at the original plan, determine whether strategic objectives are being met, and agree on new steps to be taken.
- Expand skills. In the weeks and months following the strategic planning process, expand employee skills through training, recruitment or acquisition to include new competencies required by the strategic plan.
- Target sales. Sales and marketing tools form the link between business strategy and sales strategy. Designed correctly, these sales tools communicate an organisation’s value and message to the marketplace and generate positive feedback from clients and prospects.
- Set timely strategic goals. Go beyond monitoring: build into the strategic plan goals that must be achieved within a specific time frame. Many companies do this on a monthly or weekly basis.
- Reward success. Find creative ways to motivate people and reward them for focusing on the strategy and vision. Establish some positive/negative consequences for achieving/not achieving the organisation’s strategy. These consequences may be great or small, so long as they serve to make the strategy a priority in people’s minds.