According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, 67% of well-formulated business strategies fail because of poor execution. Steven Rosen conducted a survey in which more than 400 global CEOs found that strategy execution was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders. The CEOs were from Asia, Europe, and the United States. Execution lead the list which included 80 issues, including innovation, geopolitical instability, and top-line growth.
If success is a combination of brilliant strategy and excellence in execution, then failure to execute is a critical issue that organizations face, while execution itself is a key differentiating factor for success.
With this in mind, let’s discuss the steps business leaders can take to create a strategy execution process. Hint: it all hinges on your team.
Step 1: Define Success
Most businesses try to do too much, and focus is critical to success. As a business leader, the key is to work with your team and define the 2-3 things they need to do extremely well to meet your desired outcomes.
It is not an easy task to agree on these 2-3 critical success factors. However, it is essential that you take the time to figure this out. Companies that can focus on doing a few things extremely well create competitive advantage over those who do lots of things but cannot tout any of them as best-in-class.
Step 2: Align Your Team
Once you have three or more team members, team alignment becomes important.Your team must be in agreement about how they will work together to complete tasks and achieve the organization’s desired goals and outcomes.
Step 3: Create Accountability
You don’t want to micromanage your people, yet you want to ensure that they are accountable to do what they have agreed to do. It is important to define each team member’s role in achieving the desired outcomes—and then to obtain employee understanding and agreement—in order to create strategic accountability. See how our client HairClub has had great success doing this.
Step 4: Track Your Performance
Once you have decided on your critical success factors, you need to develop the metrics you are going to use to determine how well you are doing in each of the areas. What’s more, you’ll have to normalize the measurement of metrics so you can obtain a real view of strategic execution and organizational performance.
The key is to set up a dashboard so all members of the team can have visibility to their critical success factors on a monthly basis. Each team member should be getting feedback on how they are executing against these metrics.
Step 5: Review Regularly
The final step in the process is reviewing how well you are doing against your strategic plan. As a business leader, you need to be disciplined to hold quarterly strategic performance review meetings with your team. It is imperative that you use these meetings to learn and share what is working, to create new opportunities, and to determine course-correction to improve sub-par execution.
Last Step: Automate It All
Implementing a strategic management automation solution like Spider Impact can revolutionize the way you execute and manage your strategy. With Spider Impact you can:
Visualize Your Strategic Performance. Get on-demand performance data from any perspective you desire. Limitless dashboards, strategy maps, scorecards, briefing books, reports, and more make it easy to see how your organization is performing.
Align Your Team. Allow employees to see and understand their roles in organizational success. This promotes accountability for team members and enables communication and collaboration to increase productivity.
Manage Your Strategic Initiatives. Define and track your strategic initiatives at all levels of the organization. Identify under-performing initiatives in real-time, enabling you to make adjustments or reinvest valuable resources to hit your performance goals.
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