Strategy is critical for any organization to achieve its goals, but even the most brilliant strategic plans can fail miserably if they’re not executed properly. In fact, a recent study found that 48% of organizations fail to reach at least half of their strategic targets, and only 7% of business leaders believe their organizations are excellent at strategy implementation.
Creating alignment is one way to ensure that your team delivers on the strategy. By clarifying the company's direction, employees can prioritize their work in line with the objectives, and identify the initiatives they own. In this article, we share five ways to create this alignment, and improve your chances of successful strategic execution.
1. Present the strategy
While this step may seem obvious, it often gets overlooked. We recommend you present the strategy to the team either in a town hall meeting, by uploading it to your intranet, or in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.
This communication ensures employees know where the company is headed, and how they’re contributing to the overall strategy.
2. Set an action plan
We always say a goal without a plan is just a wish. Develop an action plan that translates the company-wide KPIs and metrics into departmental or team initiatives with clear owners and deadlines.
This gives employees a plan for the way forward and promotes a culture of accountability, where people become responsible for their initiatives.
3. Review the strategy regularly
It’s important to track and review progress on the initiatives either monthly or quarterly to ensure you’re on the right track.
This allows you to review the progress on these initiatives, remove any blockers, and make any necessary changes including reprioritization to keep the strategy on track.
If you want to read up on how to use OKRs to keep track of your strategy execution, click here.
4. Provide resources
Resources can mean different things, but a common one that aligns to strategy is the budget: did you allocate the funds needed to power your strategy? Ensuring your team has the skills to deliver on the goals is another key resource. Tangibly, this could mean investing in upskilling and L&D programs, or buying the tech and infrastructure required to deliver work.
Matching the organization’s capabilities to the ambition (goals set) is a great way to ensure alignment.
5. Leadership Engagement
We often find that leaders spend much more time developing the strategy than delivering on it. We believe it is the role of leaders to not only present and commit to the strategy publicly, but to also continue to prioritize the initiatives on the critical path, share updates about progress, acknowledging when milestones are reached etc. Ultimately, it's about keeping it at the heart of your work. This inspires and motivates team members to work towards a shared vision and achieve the company's strategic goals.
Keeping teams aligned and delivering on the strategy is essential for achieving business success. By following the 5 methods outlined in this listicle, you can help your teams stay aligned, focused, motivated, and engaged in achieving the goals and objectives of your company's strategy.