When Your Strategic Plan Execution Stalls
By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant
When your team gets so busy they can’t put in the time to continue their responsibilities to execute their parts of your strategic plan, what do you do? No surprise, it is up to you to change the atmosphere in which they are working to get them back on task. What needs to happen?
It is up to you to reinvigorate the team. One thing to do is to be sure you are meeting at least once a month to review your progress on the strategic plan and each of your action plans. Accept no excuses for missing this meeting, as this sends the message that the update session is important to you and to your team members. At this meeting, go over the strategies you have selected for each of your core business segments to be sure that everyone understands what is expected and who is to do each part. Review your action plans, step by step, to reinforce to the team that it is imperative that steps be accomplished as each person committed to do when you originally scheduled the action plans at the tail end of your strategy development sessions.
Find out what is preventing or hampering the execution of the various items people should be addressing. Did people overcommit, did they promise time to carry out their action steps which they can no longer deliver? You need to dive deeply enough into the problems they have to determine what is really happening. Have their responsibilities changed since the ending of the formal planning sessions? Have they lost someone in their departments, so their work load has increased since the process started?
Once you have worked out the details of why things aren’t moving, you and each team member need to determine what to do about the roadblocks. Can responsibilities be spread over more people, so that time may be made available to work at the strategic level? Are there functions which are being performed today which no longer need to be done? As technology changes, it is possible that certain operations which have been done historically no longer need to be done, or at least could be done at a reduced level, or done by others who are not involved in carrying out strategic initiatives.
The most important factor, I believe, is that you need to set a good example. You need to hold scheduled meetings to review progress, address any problems your team members may have, and to hold people accountable for meeting their commitments. You also need to complete your own assignments on time, to set the tone for holding others accountable.
If you have problems with your execution, we can help. Give me a call at 616-575-3193 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have our booklet: Alignment for Implementation, which may help you with getting your people to make your strategies work. Contact me to get a copy.
M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: email@example.com
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