Do You Create Implementable Strategies for Your Team?
Strategies that do not get implemented are frustrating for everyone. To move forward, leaders need to create implementable strategies for their team that are clear, believable and possible in your unique circumstances. Effective strategies set you and your team up to get from where you are to where you want to be.
It must be ; and clear and simple enough to communicate effectively across the organization.
3 Ways to Create Implementable Strategies for Your Team
The fundamental way to achieve strategic goals is to break them down into meaningful, worthwhile, and challenging but achievable objectives that can be tracked and measured. Sounds easy – but this is where so many leadership teams fall short. They don’t know how to craft good strategic objectives. Without them, there is no true guide to follow and no way to assign enough accountability.
- Agree Upon Where You Are
While this seems elementary, we are surprised at the number of leadership teams that do not spend the time to get on the same page about the current assumptions and realities. Without common context, it is almost impossible to create implementable strategies for your team.Do you have a common understanding of what “Point A” represents? What is the current situation? What are the key complications that the company faces? How would you describe the critical few implications of not successfully executing your strategic vision?
- Agree Upon Where You Are Going
By and large, low performing teams have unclear goals, roles, success metrics, and processes. What does “Point B” represent? Are you hoping to enter a new market to diversify your offerings? Grow your revenues by 20% and your margins by 15%? More fully engage your workforce to decrease attrition?Whatever your ultimate goals, a successful strategy clearly defines how success and failure will be measured at the individual, team, and organizational levels. Without this clarity, it is almost impossible to align performance management and reward systems with strategic objectives.
- Break Strategic Goals into Concise Objectives
Every strategic objective and initiative should 100% align with and drive toward a strategic priority. Strategic objectives should be specific, have one clear owner, a specific date for completion, and be measurable. We have found that the best strategic objectives are communicated in a single sentence that begins with a verb, includes an object, a measurable unit and timeline.
Recent client examples include:
- Increase executive sales team by two members in the next six months
- Improve employee engagement from 76.5 to 82.3 in twelve months
- Decrease attrition of A Players by 50% in six months.
- Hire and onboard 250 new employees in the next 18 months.
- Grow our top 5 accounts by 18% by the end of Q4
- Improve average client satisfaction ratings by 3% by the next quarter
Some Tips About Approach
- Don’t Create Too Many Strategic Goals
We have found that there should be no more than four major strategic goals for the year. This allows people to focus on the few critical bets that will make the biggest difference. Too many goals and your efforts will be spread too thin and meaningful success is unlikely.
- Actively Involve Key Stakeholders
Strategy is the time to go slow to go fast. When you co-create the strategies with your key stakeholders, you engage them in the process and gain their commitment to succeed. This is not the time to work in an ivory tower. Actively involve the team to avoid problems down the road.
- Have One Owner Accountable for Each Objective
Let’s get real. Having multiple people accountable for big strategic bets causes nothing but confusion and problems. Do not have “two in a box.” While multiple people will most likely be responsible for completing the task, only have one executive team member accountable for the final results.
- Create an Effective Exposure Mechanism
There should be regular team meetings to monitor, report on, and assess progress. Be as transparent with the organization-at-large as you can. Every single employee should have a clear understanding of the company’s strategy and where you stand in achieving it.
The Bottom Line
With clear, believable and implementable strategic objectives, you will know where to play and what actions to take. This is how a company strategy comes to life, effective decisions get made, and resources get allocated to the right priorities.
To learn more about creating strategies that will be successfully implemented across your company, download 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy