How to Close the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
So your company has recently taken a close look at its strategy and developed a new plan for the coming year. Now, how do your move your team into execution mode?
Transitioning from Strategy to Execution Is Best Done with a Strong Culture of Accountability in the Workplace
The strategy has solid goals in place, metrics to analyze, and key deliverables to plan for. Leadership presents the shiny new strategic plan to the rest of the company, and the grumbling starts. The strategy that was so perfectly thought-out and accepted by leadership suddenly faces significant push-back from the people who are actually going to be carrying it out.
This tension between the people who build the plan and the people who have to execute it is present in every company. The gap between strategy and execution is normally pretty significant, so how can companies make sure that this gap isn’t so wide that it completely prevents the new strategy from taking hold?
The Three Crucial Steps
CommandHound has identified 3 key steps that companies can take to close this gap and ensure that they are able to unite around executing new, ambitious strategies.
When leadership develops a strategy, they often do so with clear goals and directives in mind. This thought process is removed from the rest of the company, who are generally not clued-in to this process but rather asked to simply execute without any background knowledge of how these goals and directives were reached.
Communication Helps the Execution Team Align Behind the New Strategy
This lack of communication means that the people who are asked to execute on the new strategy have no real understanding of the why or an incentive to do so. This might seem self-explanatory, but the best way to get buy-in is to clearly communicate how the strategy was developed, why the new strategy is important, and how the identified goals will be achieved.
Involvement at All Stages
In a recent study, researchers found that people preferred items that they helped make to items that were preassembled. This “Ikea effect” applies to strategy as well as to furniture, meaning that people who are involved at all stages of the process are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome than people who are simply shown the finished product.
When developing a new strategic initiative, leadership who asks for early input and feedback from all stakeholders at the company will be more likely to find success when these stakeholders are asked to execute.
Feedback Provides the Basis of Common Understanding to Close the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
Clarity about Process
When strategy is introduced, it is often presented in large sweeps of big-picture goals. This leaves the people who have to execute on those goals in the dark about how to achieve them. By providing clear steps, key activities, and deliverables, leadership is able to make sure that all stakeholders feel involved, important, and taken care of.
Accountability software like CommandHound, which allows managers to input and assign tasks and projects, helps provide this clarity and direction necessary to carry out the execution of a well defined and communicated strategy. With CommandHound, these tasks are given deadlines and escalated to management if delayed, giving leadership the peace of mind that their strategy changes are actually going into effect.
Would you like to learn more about how CommandHound can help you close the gap between strategy and execution?