The Other 5 Ways to Ensure Strategy Execution

To finish what I started last week, I’m going to run down the other five of my Top 10 ways to ensure your organization will successfully execute its strategy.

(5) Start executing.  Don’t wait until you think you have the perfect strategy.  In this case, perfect is the enemy of good enough.  A lot of organizations I work with – particularly nonprofits and educational organizations – tend to want to get everything right first, before even sticking a toe in the water of executing. 

In my experience, every time an organization looks at its strategic plan, it can find something to tweak or change.  Resist this urge and start moving out.  It is never going to be perfect and you truly won’t know if it is any good until you start executing the strategy.

Line-of-Sight to the Enterprise Strategy

(4) Ensure the individuals in your organization have “line-of-sight” from their job—or at least their department—to your organization’s strategic objectives.  If they can see how what they do on a regular basis ties to the strategy, they will see the strategic importance of their jobs.

(3) Coupled with #4 above, you need to make strategy execution a part of everybody’s day job.  Both staff and managers need to understand that strategic projects aren’t “extra” things that only get done after everything else or only by managers or executives.  Get as many people involved in strategy as possible and make strategy execution part of their performance reviews so they dedicate the necessary time to get it done.

(2) Conduct strategy review meetings at least once per quarter—at both the enterprise and department levels.  If you are never measuring and checking progress, it will never get done.  Conversely, if people see that progress is being reviewed, the message will be sent that strategy execution is a priority.

(1) Finally, you need a leader who believes in what you are doing and champions it very step of the way.  And, by leader, I mean an Executive Director, President, CEO, General, Admiral, etc.  The leader of your organization has to not only be on board, but leading strategy execution and being held accountable for it.