By Shannon Sage
Put Your Strategic Plan To Work With Implementation

Implementing your strategic plan is as important, or even more important, than your strategy. It is the critical actions that move a strategic plan from a document that sits on the shelf to actions that drive business growth. The sad reality is that the majority of companies who have strategic plans fail to implement. Don’t be part of the majority!

According to a Fortune cover story, nine out of ten organizations fail to implement their strategic plan for the following reasons:

  • 60% of organizations do not link strategy to budgeting
  • 75% of organizations do not link employee incentives to strategy
  • 86% of business owners and managers spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy
  • 95% of a typical workforce does not understand their organization’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 does not guarantee that the desired performance will be reached any more than having a roadmap guarantees the traveler will arrive at the desired destination. However, the more complete and purposeful the implementation, the more successful the company will be in the marketplace.

Implementation is the process that turns strategies and plans into actions in order to accomplish strategic objectives and goals. Whereas the strategic plan addresses the what and why of activities, implementation addresses the who, where, when, and how. It is believed that implementation is as important, or even more important, than strategy. The fact is that both are critical to success. In fact, companies can gain competitive advantage through implementation if done effectively.