Posted: July 31, 2019
After the process of strategic planning has been completed, the process for your organisation becomes one of disciplined execution – keeping the momentum going throughout the year while so many other things are coming at you and your people.
Distractions abound, and it can be easy to veer off-track. Part of our job is to help companies disrupt their “business as usual” mentality and, actually, put their strategy into practice over the following year. For this, we have a specific process. This process enables you to continue to execute strategy while also giving you the space to pivot if required.
What does disciplined execution involve?
THE 90-DAY PLAN
The aim of the 90-day plan is to break down major strategic goals into smaller, achievable chunks. This helps everyone in the organisation to understand departmental strategy at a micro-level and to see what goals need to be reached now in order to produce results in a year’s time.
The 90-day plan is a living document that forms the basis for reporting lines, team projects and leadership initiatives over each quarter. At the end of the quarter, this document should be reviewed and revised. New goals might be added, or strategy might be refocused to pivot to create forward momentum toward those longer-term strategic goals.
HOLDING GOOD MEETINGS
Successful disciplined execution involves getting leaders and stakeholders together regularly for meetings to look over numbers and plan initiatives.
People find meetings frustrating because all-too-often they become a monotonous talk-fest – a lot of talking but nothing is decided, nothing actioned, no accountability is created. Without solid co-ordination and direction, meeting conversation can lead off into all kinds of directions, carrying with it your carefully constructed strategic plan.
Meetings need to be a platform for robust conversation, especially about strategic initiatives. Trust has to exist, enabling healthy conflict as leaders challenge each other’s ideas to bring about the best decisions for the company.
It sounds simple, but creating this environment isn’t easy. One tactic we like is to keep these strategic execution and review meetings short and to-the-point. You don’t need elaborate minutes just a quick Who What by When (WWW) matrix helps to bring accountability into the team.
COMMUNICATE STRATEGIC EXECUTION GLOBALLY
It can be easy for employees – especially those lower down the ladder – to forget about overall strategic objectives and goals. This could be a fault in the way you communicated those strategic decisions originally, but more likely it’s simply that they’ve become inundated with the everyday tasks that keep the company business-as-usual ticking along. That’s not a bad thing, but it means that communications around strategy need to be continuous if you want everyone to be on board.
A simple weekly meeting where goals and projects are brought back to strategic principles can do wonders, as can a regular strategic email, video blog or other communication. Remember that everyone in your company has a stake in its future, so involve everyone as actively as possible in securing that future.
How does your company fare with disciplined execution? Learn how to play to win in our new guide, The Four Cornerstones of Strategic Intent.