What is strategic implementation?
All the strategic planning in the world is useless without strategic implementation. It’s one of the most crucial parts of strategic management as it transforms your company strategies into action.
Huge emphasis has been placed on how strategic plans are so vital in achieving your vision and goals, and rightly so. However, without execution of your strategic plans, they’ll remain ideas, your business will suffer, and any ambitions for your company will go un unfulfilled.
It’s through this strategic implementation process that you create progress that can inspire those who have a stake in the process. It can also uncover internal and external threats and weaknesses that you hadn’t previously considered. Strategy implementation is where the rubber hits the road and is the true litmus test of how effective a strategic plan can be and where it may need to be modified along the way.
This is where you, as a leader, play a critical role in an effective delegation to your team for their respective individual tasks. Each member must have a clear understanding of your strategy in order for them to know what to do and why they are doing it.
5 Significant Requirements for a Successful Strategic Implementation
Maintaining skillful and knowledgeable talent in the company is a priority and your team members should be regularly acknowledged for their contributions to the successful implementation of your strategies. As leaders, you must cascade awareness of the company’s vision, mission, objective, and goals to all levels of your organization.
It’s also important to encourage a good level of commitment from your team members to the successful completion of these strategic goals. Apart from hitting the targets, your team members should take on ownership and accountability for their part in the strategic implementation, mostly by delivering quality outputs according to set timelines.
Explaining the company strategy to your team members and encouraging ideas and feedback is a great way to get them onboard with the tasks that need to be undertaken in order to implement the strategy.
Continuous coaching of your team members throughout the strategic implementation process is a great way to keep them engaged and focused on the job at hand and also helps build their confidence for taking on future engagements for the company.
Ensuring there’s always an open line of communication throughout the team, not only with each other but also with you as a leader. This helps build trust and your team members will feel comfortable coming to you with questions, ideas, and concerns.
Having the right resources (such as time and money) is essential for the strategy implementation process to take effect. There is generally always an investment of resource cost to any action that takes a company forward, but the focus should be placed on the intended outcome and rewards.
As a leader, keeping the bigger picture in mind by being objective and carefully considering the costs to be incurred against the potential benefits of successfully implementing the strategies is required. Since there is also risk involved, it’s important to lay down all possible factors that can impact your implementation by analyzing the pros and cons.
Time is another critical resource factor since every strategic plan needs – enough time for all members to understand the strategy, act on the strategy, and overcome any and all hurdles along the way. A learning curve often presents itself when introducing new strategies, policies, or systems. These should be identified during implementation and enough time must be given for a method or practice to take off and run smoothly.
Also, time for periodic assessments is essential during the implementation stage, since it is through timely feedback that your company can make the proper adjustments, whether at the start or middle of the strategy implementation.
Like resources, applicable systems should be crafted to facilitate strategic implementation across the whole company at all levels. During the strategic planning process, required technology, tools, and company processes should be considered for easy implementation of your daily strategies.
A company with competent team members but lacking the proper tools, is akin to sending great warriors to battle lacking suitable armor. Acquiring up-to-date systems is crucial to driving team performance and productivity.
It is only when appropriate systems have been put in place, should companies have high expectations of the outputs delivered by team members.
4. Organisational Structure
In companies with several departments, it’s important that the organizational structure is defined and hierarchical, leading to more specialization and less confusion.
However, for many small and medium businesses (SMBs), it’s a common mistake to maintain team members whose functions have a large amount of overlap. It’s quite common for a lot of businesses to have a relatively flat structure with no clear leadership structure, except that of the owner and maybe some managers. It’s a double-edged sword as it can both be beneficial but also harmful to a business.
This in a way is like a double-edged sword as it can both be beneficial but also harmful to a business.
If there is no clear delineation of tasks and authority, there could be confusion and a lack of accountability. Ideally, a team member should only be directly reporting to one manager, from whom responsibilities are received and approvals are acquired.
If there are numerous team members working on a task, it becomes unclear who’s responsible for what and also who’s responsible it is to achieve goals on these tasks. Without a structure of leadership and responsibility, projects can become quite chaotic.
For a more productive workplace, there should be a clear outline of tasks on who is responsible while detailing the targets for submission. Clarity of scope of work promotes accountability and ownership. This also drives team member empowerment as they take responsibility for their own decisions in their area of expertise.
5. Organisational Culture
A positive organizational culture that shows the commitment and cooperation of leaders and team members helps drive strategic implementation.
If you have effectively communicated your company’s vision and purpose, your team members are more likely to be motivated in fulfilling their roles. If your team members feel they are appreciated and their efforts contribute to a larger goal of the organization, they are more likely to support any new policies and strategies. Cultivating a healthy organizational culture should not be. Instead, it is the product of trust, openness, and values shared with your team members.
As you delegate tasks and provide them with the resources and reinforcements they need, they become more responsible and goal-oriented. These reinforcements may be simple praise, recognition, or in some cases, an incentive, and will help serve as your team member’s motivation. It will also help inspire them to perform as they contribute to your strategic goals.
Having the right team members will help increase your chances of success as your strategies are put into action. However, as leaders, you should allocate the right resources and establish a suitable system to facilitate strategy implementation.
It is also essential to promote task ownership and accountability for your team members to feel empowered and valued. This will also reinforce to them that their contributions are necessary for achieving your long-term goals.