Strategy – Plan to make it real

A Strategy without a plan is just a delusion

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”. Sun Tzu

It will go away like the one last year!

Often businesses spend a great deal of time developing and polishing new strategies and are surprised when they roll them out that the workforce doesn’t really get behind them. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The workforce assume that if you want them to do something to meet your strategic objectives you will tell them so they wait to be told
  2. The workforce are naturally skeptical, they think “whats in it for me” and if they don’t see anything they will ignore the new grand strategy and hope it will go away like the one last year.

WIFM?

If you are going to successfully communicate a new strategy then the steps to get there have to be laid out and they have to be made relevant to the part of the organisation you need to get behind it.

Take these 6 steps to deliver a successful strategic change

  1. Start with the imperative to change, why a new strategy is required. The “burning platform” analogy is often used to good effect here.
  2. Paint a clear picture of what it will look like, feel like, be like if we wind the clock forward to when the strategic aim is achieved.
  3. Outline the tactical plan to get there and the roles and functions of the various departments in achieving the strategic aim
  4. Refine the individual tactical plans and assign owners and teams, define metrics, critical success factors and key performance indicators to measure progress to goals
  5. Review progress with the business and teams, give immediate recognition for successes and encouragement and support for flagging teams
  6. Try not to come up with a new strategy or a change until either, some good progress has been made and objectives need to be reset or, until an external event makes it imperative to change course

None of this is anything but common sense but it is surprising how often a business can come up with a strategy that the workforce just reject and they do so because there is no plan to make it real!

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