Date Added: February 2013
Note: This article appeared in the February 6, 2013 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Creating and executing a comprehensive strategic plan can be simple. It requires all core elements of an organization to be in sync, everyone understanding how they fit into achieving the strategy, and leaders to hold everyone accountable.
Typical core organizational elements include employees, customers and operations. Employees produce and provide service to customers, and should be engaged. Customers purchase and generate revenue; and should be completely satisfied. Operations moves everything from beginning to end; improving efficiency and the bottom line.
Employees become engaged through leadership development, performance reviews, coaching/mentoring; and understanding how their role impacts the strategy, customers and operations. Customers become completely satisfied through engaged employees producing quality products and delivering responsive service.
Operations links employees and customers via the strategy. If departments are not communicating and have a “silo” approach, lack of execution occurs; resulting in disengaged employees and unsatisfied customers. Communication and accountability are vital to holding this together.
Communication occurs through leadership. This may be the leadership team, department leaders, or informal leaders – those without “title,” but having influence. These leaders help both employees and customers understand the strategy and how each employee, role and activity impacts all others.
Communication without accountability results in failure. Accountability occurs by the same leaders listed above, as well as employees holding each other accountable. In a truly engaged organization, this is part of the culture and simpler to accomplish.
While much of this is easy and achievable, few organizations do it successfully. Failure can occur in all eight areas. Lack of a good strategy. Lack of prioritizing core areas. Lack of achieving alignment. Lack of understanding. Lack of execution. Lack of communication. Lack of accountability. Lack of leadership.
Organizations have success by achieving some of these areas; although consider how much more successful organizations would be when completing all eight areas. Strategy. Prioritization. Alignment. Understanding. Execution. Communication. Accountability. Leadership.
Combining quotes from two great individuals, Sun Tzu said, “Much strategy prevails over little strategy.” Colin Powell said, “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure… and persistence.” Connecting all eight strategy areas equals organizational success.
David Yeghiaian is committed to leading people on a life-changing journey to being great leaders. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.