By Heyden Enochson
Strategy High – Yeah, it’s a real thing.

It’s the 20th mile in the marathon. You’re bruised, beaten, and blistered, yet you continue moving forward. Why? The feeling of crossing that finish line is like nothing else.

Closing the gap between strategy and execution is the same way.

Between miles 1-20, you’ve seen inclines, declines, plateaus, and valleys. Your team has worked relentlessly collaborating ideas, refocusing your efforts, and deciding the future of the company. You’re on mile 20 and you hit the block – your strategic plan is complete, but now it’s time execute and you’re left gasping for air, unable to finish the race.

What’s it going to take to cross over the finish line? Ownership.

Your team has to own your strategic plan. There is a fundamental difference between your team understanding what they’re supposed to do versus understanding why they’re doing it and a willingness to achieve it. That’s ownership.

Here’s a list of tips to inspire ownership throughout an organization.

  • It starts with communication. Before anyone will act on anything, there must be an open flow of information between your team. You must make it clear how each members work and actions will benefit the organization and its strategic goals.
  • Help people take control. Sometimes, team members feel like they have no control over their workflow – change this. Allow your team members to have some input on what they’re doing. By allowing them to choose what matters to them, you’re giving them the ability to make a difference that will personally resonate with them.
  • Don’t micromanage. Be strategic in your delegation and allow your team to get things done. Hovering and second guessing everything won’t allow your team to create a trusting relationship or feel valued.
  • Plenty ’o’ compliments. When someone does something right or accomplishes a task, let them know. Everyone likes to be recognized and this can help motivate your team to complete tasks.

Marathon runners cite the only reason they run the last agonizing miles of a marathon due to the “runners high” phenomenon. They’re so driven and focused on finishing, they push pass their pain and exhaustion.

Follow these few simple steps and you can get your team on a strategy high, ensuring you can cross the yellow tape which marks the end of your strategic plan; well, at least until it’s time to create and execute your next one.