35 How Can I Take My Business to the Next Level?
The simple answer is by EXECUTING your strategic plan.
So You’ve Garnered All the Gadgets…
Trello, Paper planner, Gantt charts, colorful post-its, colorful pens and markers. Wall chart paper and white boards. Your snacks and carefully planned agendas.
Maybe even an off-site location and little gifts for your staff.
You’ve Perfected the Pre-Work
You’ve taken my advice and downloaded the CEO Day Planning Workbook (Do it now!)
You’ve listened to my episodes on strategic planning
You’ve reviewed your metrics, especially your financials and know exactly where you need to go.
Your list of Significant Seven is ready for review by your team.
You’ve perfected the pre-work so your CEO Day or Strategic Planning time with your team is ALL ABOUT strategic planning.
You Slayed the Strat Plan
You have new good, better, best goals.
Your marketing strategy is taking a right turn and will blow your competition away.
You even hinted at a new team member if next quarter goals are met.
Your team is energized and can’t wait to dig in on all the new, exciting new ideas.
You wrap up your time with an elegant dinner and a celebratory indulgent dessert and call it a win.
But Your Execution Failed to Elevate
Except you get back to the grindstone and realize, there’s no way you’ll be able to implement all the great ideas – even if you narrowed them down a bit.
What you’re really left with is an overwhelming list of robust projects and tasks.
You’re afraid you’re going to sink into the 90% that fail to execute on their plans. 90%!!!
All that hard work and employee enthusiasm you had is quickly going down the toilet unless you get it together.
So you set aside even more time to put together a masterplan or playbook so that everyone is clear on what the quarter or year should look like.
But then you see that you still have too many projects, too many tasks, and not enough budget.
Engineer Your Execution Instead
98% of leaders believe that implementation takes more energy than planning. And they’re right.
Strategic plans are fluid – they must be flexible enough to respond to rapidly changing markets, but they also must be strong enough to withstand a fad or flurry.
So the first step to better execution is to build a strong enough plan to withstand the fads and flurries and market fluctuations.
Fads and flurries are built by entrepreneurs who want to cancel out everything that was built previously with their new and exciting way to do THE THING.
Videos and ads that start with “Stop Doing…” or “Everyone is getting it wrong…” may be part of a fad…their “ONE and ONLY way” is not actually the only way.
Your product or service has to be niche enough and solve a big enough problem or provide a bright enough opportunity to withstand those fads, flurries, and market changes.
To get started building that plan, be sure you listen to my Strategic Planning episodes and download the CEO Day Planning Workbook. It was designed to help you set up your CEO Day for success. And it’s free. AND, it’s fillable.
The Second element is to prepare yourself and your employees for is The change
65% of CEO’s do not prepare their employees well for change. They’re so ineffective in driving change into their workforce, that 67% of their strategies fail.
If you’re planning to sunset a product or service to make room for a new one or, you’re brining on a new team member that will require a shift in roles and responsibilities or introducing any kind of major change in your organization, you should consider including a change management plan.
Whether you follow Patrick Lencioni (recommended) and design a transformation plan (Check out episode 80 of At the Table) or you follow John Kotter, the Father, or at least the favorite Uncle of Change Management, you need a plan.
These influencers agree, that taking time to purposefully step back from the old, enforce time to breathe in the present, and map out the future, will yield powerful results in your business so you don’t become one of the 67% who’s strategies don’t fail.
The third element is the failure to communicate
One study in 2016 rated poor communication as the number one reason why strategic objectives fail. While that’s been a while, communication in any organization on any subject is a pace-setting activity.
95% of employees don’t understand their organization’s strategies. Your plan for cascading should be simple and well defined. If you dot your playbook with buzzworthy words like thematic goals and you differentiate between priorities, strategies, objectives, and priorities, make sure your people know the hierarchy of elements and how they feed into each other.
Nothing’s worse that employees who can do their job because they’re not sure if they are working on a goal, objective, or priority and why the heck it matters.
Every employee should understand why what they do each day is important and how the work they perform affects results. Giving your employees purpose doesn’t only help you implement your plans with more success, you’re also providing them with one of their basic needs for company engagement. Do NOT underestimate this step.
Finally, to help you ensure you engineer a successful execution of your strategic plan, manage the projects coming out of the planning session.
Different business coaches will teach you to manage your projects differently, or you may have a beloved approach you’ve used for years. Either way, pay close attention to this step.
Whether you have a Director of Operations like me on your staff or someone you entrust to manage all your projects, make sure you have regular meetings set up with your staff, that you have metrics you are measuring at regular intervals to ensure your efforts are paying off, and that you’ve considered the time, energy, budget and other resources necessary to do the work.
I’ve basically described a GANTT chart, right?
More than just offering a GANTT perspective, though, people need and want to meet and exceed your expectations, so even for the highest level person on your team, it is vitally important to have one on one discussions with each project owner to make results expectations absolutely clear.
You may not need to work through each step with them, but it is always a good idea to ask them about where their line of sight is and their thoughts on how they will get there. On more than one occasion, I’m regretfully admit, I’ve had an end result in mind and all the tasks and to-do’s necessary to reach that result and expected the other very capable person was on the same page only to find out, we were no where close. Every single time I ended up with a product that fell flat. Every time.
YOU are the CEO of your company and your expectations should be high. But don’t mistake someone’s interpretation of your expectations as lackluster if you were not clear about them in the first place.
There’s so much more to strategic prepping, planning and execution and I would love to talk with you one on one to see how I can help you with the business of coaching. Visit my website at vimandvigor.biz to get started.
Don’t forget to download your free CEO Day Strategic Planning Workbook!
Thank you for joining me today on THE ONE BURNING QUESTION. I’d love for you to submit YOUR question – just visit my website, complete the form, and it might just get on a future episode.
Until next time, I’m Kass Fogle and I’m here for you!