Successfully Implementing a Business Strategy
While it may not seem like it at the time, creating your business strategy can actually be the easy part because at that point it is all just ideas and aspirations.
Implementing the strategy makes it real in the sense that you have to start turning your ideas into actions that actually make things happen and those activities need to result in measurable outcomes that ultimately help the business attain its objectives and goals.
During the strategy development phase you should have obtained a great deal of information about your business, where you want it to be in the future, where it is now, how you are going to move from where you are to where you want to be and what might get in the way.
This information should form the basis of your strategy model (see the diagram on the right) with where you want it to be at the top and how you are going to get there at the bottom – the strategic activities that have been identified as the important actions and projects that will help your business attain its goals and vision.
People are critical to the successful implementation of business strategy. By definition, activities mean that actions have to be taken by people in your organisation so they need to be motivated to take those actions.
In my experience it is important that people understand why they are being asked to do something, especially if it is complex and/or involved changing the way things are done. Involving the key people in each activity area ensures that they understand what the expected outcome is and why it is important to the business. This encourages them to participate in the creation of the implementation plan can be a good way to get their commitment. Consequently, they will be more likely to be motivated to implement the activities and projects that will help attain the business objectives.
On the basis that if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting the same results, change is an integral part of the implementation phase of any strategic plan. Change management is, therefore, a crucial element of strategy implementation. Involving decision makers in the strategy development process will help, as will involving those entrusted with implementing the various activities and projects that make up the strategic plan. Carefully managing the change process, involving people and reassuring those most affected by it will act as a catalyst for positive change in your business, thereby increasing the likelihood that your strategic plans will succeed.