Many organizations spend a lot of time and create a lot of meetings to develop their strategic plan. However, many times the plan ends up in a desk drawer or put on a bookshelf to only gather dust. Sound familiar? You are not unlike many other senior leadership teams. Developing the plan is the easy part, however, many organizations struggle with the implementation.
The first step in implementing your strategic objectives is sharing the objectives with every employee of your organization. Everyone in the organization needs to know what the organization’s objectives are, but more importantly, each employee needs to know what his/her role is in making them happen. If you currently communicate your strategic objectives to your employees, how does it happen? Is it effective?
The next step is determining if your employees have the appropriate skills and knowledge necessary to implement the strategic initiatives for which they are accountable. If you determine your employees are lacking in these areas, what actions will you need to take? This is an important question to consider because it is the employees who will drive and implement the strategic objectives. They may require some training and/or development in order to succeed within the new initiatives. In addition to the right skills and knowledge, attitudes play a key role in whether or not the objectives are achieved. Do your employees have the appropriate attitudes necessary to implement your objectives? Again, if not what action will you need to take?
The third step is to review your current processes to determine if they will support the achievement of your strategic objectives. Often times processes become antiquated and will not support new goals and outcomes. We have a popular expression: Bad processes kill good people. Your people may have all the necessary skills and knowledge and the best attitudes in the world, but if the processes do not support the new initiatives you will be creating unnecessary challenges that take time and cost money.
Part of your planning should also include the creation of employee and departmental goals. Work to ensure they are in alignment with the overall organizational strategic objective, and have a measurement system in place to track progress.
Many of our clients use a dashboard (use graphic on 2nd page) which lists their strategic objectives, progress to date, and if they are on target. A dashboard provides an excellent visual because it is a one-page document shared with the entire organization and is a critical agenda item for all meetings. A functioning dashboard keeps your plan alive. Everyone can clearly see what objectives are on target and what objectives need to be reviewed and adjusted.
Are you on target with your strategic objectives? Do your employees have the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to implement them? Will your current processes allow you to implement your plan? Are all the individual, departmental and organizational goals aligned, and is there a measurement system in place?
If your organization is challenged in any of these areas – we can help.