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Executing Strategy

Many are familiar or have maybe even worked with teams who set strategic goals for the organisation, but fail to create an operational process to achieve them. A disproportionate amount of time is spent on the strategy compared to the detailed plan of implementing and executing that strategy. All too often, managers attempt to point their team towards the strategic end game, but provide little guidance on the step-by-step tactics to get there. Here are a few tips to help you to implement your business plan successfully:

Set Objectives
Strategic business plans should provide financial targets, initiatives to reach those targets and an overarching philosophy in which the company operates.  Writing the objectives is the easy part – it is the implementation of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely (SMART) objectives that is key to the success of any business plan.

Support the Strategy with Tactics
A business plan that hits the mark not only identifies the strategic direction of the company, but also maps out the tactical elements that enable the company to execute the plan. This is where most companies fail to operationalise their strategic plan into tactical initiatives. Why are these strategies going to deliver the greatest return on investment and effort? How are they going to complete and deliver on their strategic plan? Who is responsible for all of the steps required to execute?

Cascade the Objectives
A strategic plan generally comes from the top.  It is up to each of the department heads to internalise the plan and cascade the various tasks throughout their teams.  Your firm’s managers should set the benchmark, help the team lay out the necessary tasks and then hold their time accountable to achieving those milestones.

Monitor Regularly
Achieving strategic success is one part execution and one part inspiration. Hitting milestones on a regular basis provides the ongoing desire to see the plan through to its full fruition. Setting milestones and monitoring not only keeps the firm on plan, but also allows for management to communicate these successes to the wider team. Strategic targets can be daunting at the outset, but breaking them down into chunks makes achieving them more manageable.