Embracing Strategy

Do your team fully embrace the strategy?
A. No. Everyone just gets on with their jobs.
B. Our team have some skills to make our strategy work.
C. Our team have the necessary skills and they support our strategy.
D. Our team have the necessary skills, they support our strategy, and their attitudes are aligned with our strategy.
E. Our team have the necessary skills, they support our strategy, their attitudes are aligned with our strategy and they have the resources they need to be successful. 
[Score: A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3 & E=4]
Why is this question important?

Clarify & Translate the Strategy to Operational Terms

  • You can’t implement Strategy if you can’t describe it
  • Describe and communicate the strategy in a consistent and insightful way
  • Use a Strategy Map – a logical and comprehensive visual way to describe strategy
  • Achieve consensus on the key objectives and how they inter-relate

Align the Organisation to the Strategy to Create Synergy

  • Synergy throughout the organisation – the overriding goal
  • Create stretch targets which are achievable
  • Replace formal reporting structures with strategic programs, priorities, measurement and feedback
  • Managers need feedback on whether the planned strategy remains a viable and successful strategy – the ‘double-loop’ learning process.  (Double-loop learning – occurs when managers question their underlying assumptions and reflect on whether the assumptions under which they are operating remains consistent with current evidence, observations and experience).


Make Strategy Everyone’s Everyday Job

  • Management cannot implement strategy on their own
  • It requires the active participation of everyone in the organisation
  • Move strategy from the boardroom to the backroom and to the front lines of daily operations and customer service
  • Every employee is capable of finding improved ways of doing business that will contribute to achieving strategic objectives
  • Communicate and educate
  • You have no chance of executing strategy unless your employees know it
  • Everybody must be motivated to execute strategy and they must be empowered to do so

Make Strategy a Continual Process

  • Have regular management meetings to discuss, review and progress strategy (sounds obvious – but they are a rarity)
  • Review priorities and update KPI’s in real-time
  • Constantly fine-tune strategies
  • Instead of being an annual event, make strategy a continual process
  • Ensure the Balanced Scorecard protects long-term initiatives from short-term sub-optimisation

Mobilise Change through Leadership, Feedback & Learning

  • Everyone learns from their performance and improves their future decision-making
  • The single and most important condition for success is the ownership and involvement of the top team
  • Strategy requires change from virtually every part of the organisation
  • Strategy requires teamwork to coordinate these changes
  • Mobilisation begins at the top – establish a sense of urgency, create the guiding ‘coalitions’ and develop a vision and strategy
  • Strategy execution is not a “metrics” project – it’s a “change” process
  • Remember that strategies must continuously improve performance and constantly evolve to reflect shifts in opportunities and threats