• Posted 14/06/2018 12:49am

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL

“The devil is in the detail” - an old quote which speaks volumes when evaluating many businesses ability to implement strategy in the modern era.

Implementation is the process that turns strategies and plans into actions in order to accomplish strategic objectives and goals. Implementing your strategic plan is as important, or even more important, than your strategy.

Critical actions move a strategic plan from a document that sits on the shelf to actions that drive business growth. Sadly, nine out of ten organizations fail to implement their strategic plan, for many different reasons.

What if your company was the one out of the ten that DID implement their strategic plan? What would it do for your business and your lifestyle?

Here are the statistics:

  • 60% of organisations don’t link strategy to budgeting
  • 75% of organisations don’t link employee incentives to strategy
  • 86% of business owners and managers spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy
  • 95% of the typical workforce doesn’t understand their organisation’s strategy.

A strategic plan provides a business with the roadmap it needs to pursue a specific strategic direction and set of performance goals, deliver customer value, and be successful. However, this is just a plan; it doesn’t guarantee that the desired performance is reached any more than having a roadmap in the car guarantees the traveller arrives at the desired destination.

For those businesses that have a plan in place, wasting time and energy on the planning process and then not implementing the plan is very discouraging.  Although the topic of implementation may not be the most exciting thing to talk about, it’s a fundamental business practice that’s critical for any strategy to take hold.

The strategic plan addresses the WHAT and WHY of activities, but implementation addresses the WHOWHERE, WHEN, and HOW. The fact is that both pieces are critical to success.

When done effectively, companies can gain competitive advantage through implementation.

Here are the most common reasons strategic plans fail:

  • Lack of ownership: 
    The most common reason a plan fails is lack of ownership.  If people don’t have a stake and responsibility in the plan, it’ll be business as usual for all but a frustrated few.
  • Lack of communication: 
    The plan doesn’t get communicated to employees, and they don’t understand how they contribute.
  • Getting mired in the day-to-day: 
    Owners and managers, consumed by daily operating problems, lose sight of long-term goals. 
  • Out of the ordinary: 
    The plan is treated as something separate and removed from the management process.
  • An overwhelming plan: 
    The goals and actions generated in the strategic planning session are too numerous because the team failed to make tough choices to eliminate non-critical actions. Employees don’t know where to begin.
  • A meaningless plan: 
    The vision, mission, and value statements are viewed as fluff and not supported by actions or don’t have employee buy-in.
  • Annual strategy:
    Strategy is only discussed at yearly weekend retreats. 
  • Not considering implementation: 
    Implementation isn’t discussed in the strategic planning process. The planning document is seen as an end in itself.
  • No progress report: 
    There’s no method to track progress, and the plan only measures what’s easy, not what’s important. No one feels any forward momentum.
  • No accountability: 
    Accountability and high visibility help drive change.  This means that each measure, objective, data source, and initiative must have an owner.
  • Lack of empowerment: 
    Although accountability may provide strong motivation for improving performance, employees must also have the authority, responsibility, and tools necessary to impact relevant measures.  Otherwise, they may resist involvement and ownership. 

Strategic Management NZ are specialists in removing those bullet points and rolling out a successful strategic plan.

Our clients are seeing the benefit of our service after developing a simple strategic plan for them and you could to. Our role over the coming 12-months includes:

  • Finalising your strategic plan after obtaining input from all invested parties.
  • Aligning your budget to annual goals based on your financial assessment.
  • Producing the various versions of your plan for each group.
  • Establishing your scorecard system for tracking and monitoring your plan.
  • Establishing your performance management and reward system.
  • Rolling out your plan to the whole organisation.
  • Building all department annual plans around the organisation’s strategic plan.
  • Setting up monthly strategy meetings with established reporting to monitor your progress.
  • Setting up annual strategic review dates, including new assessments and a large group meeting for an annual plan review.

You’re on the right web page to begin that journey.

We have spent years working with organisations and teams, assisting in creating strategic plans and aligning everything in the business alongside it. Yours could be next.

Free up your time to see what you do best, book a complimentary consult with us today by contacting us here.

Remember, strategic planning is paramount in any successful organisation and it doesn’t need to be a complicated experience.

It’s easier to avoid pitfalls when they’re clearly identified. Now that you know what they are, you’re more likely to jump right over them!

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