So you build a great strategic plan and six months in your implementation process is dead (i.e. no one is talking about the strategy, people have new lists of goals, or the status reports on progress are old).
What do you do? This is where we found ourselves coming back a year later to refresh a plan for Curoil, one of South America’s oil distribution companies. Here are some ideas to keep the strategy alive:
- Connect progress reports to strategic conversations: If you don’t talk about your progress regularly (monthly is fine) in the context of the bigger strategic picture, you’ve just created another administrative process. No one wants another administrative duty. Without the monthly Strategy Review – your strategy is invisible. So have that Strategy Review meeting.
- Make it visible: Turn a wall in your office into a war room. For another one of our clients, they use a room called the “bunker room” exclusively for strategic planning sessions and reviews. They leave the room “as-is” between reviews and sessions to keep all of their past ideas and performance front and center.
- Embed progress into your staff meetings: See bullet point one. You don’t need another meeting. Use existing meeting time to discuss your strategy.
- Find legitimate (meaning real) performance measures: Real data changes everything. If you can see your performance measures move or start to tell a story, you’ll start to really understand the impact of your plan.
- Create a little pressure: At your Strategy Reviews, ask each goal champion to report on their progress instead of you enabling the conversation.