How to Create Implementable Strategies for Your Team

How to Create Implementable Strategies for Your Team
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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.

To be implementable, strategies must be 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 during a corporate strategy retreat. 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.

  1. 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 from a current state analysis, it is almost impossible to create implementable strategies for your team.

    — Do you have a common understanding of what “Point A” represents?
    — Do all key stakeholders agree upon the key complications that the company faces?
    — Can everyone describe the critical few implications of not successfully executing your strategic vision?

  2. Agree Upon Where You Are Going
    By and large, low performing teams have unclear goals and accountabilities, 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 strategic clarity, it is almost impossible to align performance management and reward systems with strategic objectives.

    Does everyone agree with where you are headed and why?

  3. 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, a success metric, 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 two to three 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 will be spread valuable resources and mindshare 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 in strategic planning 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 project sponsor accountable for the final results.
  • Create an Effective Exposure Mechanism
    There should be regular leadership 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 

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