The secret to strategic implementation is revealed in today’s Whiteboard Session with Erica Olsen, the founder of OnStrategy.
For more resources on building your strategic plan, view our Essentials Guide to Strategic Planning.
“Hi, I’m Erica Olsen. This whiteboard session is on implementation; arguably one of the hardest things to do in Strategic Planning and Strategic Management. We’re going to cover a couple of key pieces about how to make sure your implementation process goes as well as it possibly can. Here we go.
First of all, we need to make sure that you have a Strategy Manager, someone who is responsible; essentially for managing the project, or in this case, your strategic plan. So, someone needs to be identified; let’s just pick someone, let’s just say it’s Sue. We need to make sure that we are communicating the strategic plan to everybody who needs to be communicated to, and how are we doing that? Is it, of course; there’s obvious stuff, is it in email, is it an all staff meeting, you know, what is it? Is it an offsite? How are we communicating the strategy to everyone? You know, this is something that we tend to forget to do, especially outside the management team. So, you know, make sure that everyone understands what the strategy is by having clear understanding of how we’re going to communicate the strategy.
The next thing to… implementation is accountability; that’s a pretty key piece. Well, what are we asking about related to accountability? We’re asking for, who is responsible for executing the goal or goals as the case may be and how often are they providing an update? Okay. So, how and how are they providing an update and how often are they providing an update, and who is doing that? So again, that’s an accountability piece.
And then the frequency kind of rolls a little bit together on that; you saw that, how often. And so are we updating our strategic plan or the status? That’s what we’re really talking about the status of the goal. So how are we doing on those goals? As we’re updating or reporting on it; that’s the accountability piece. How often are we reporting on that; are we doing it monthly, quarterly? Some people actually do it weekly, okay? And let’s actually look at a timeline to kind of think really through this. I find this really, really, helpful.
I’m going to work off a quarterly idea here. So, let’s assume that you developed your strategic plan in Q4; so whatever your Q4 is. And here’s where we developed your plan. And we’ve communicated it here as well. We come back over here in Q1, and here is where we’re requiring an update and that may be the email or it may be, as we call it a Strategy Review Session, okay? As well as then, the same kind of thing, we would set the dates for the next Strategy Review, and then the next one here at the end of Q3, which then would Tee us up effectively to put our plan together for the next year.
So this is a great outline to make sure that once you’re done with your plan, and of course we’re never done, that’s sort of the tip. You’re never really done with your plan, but once you have a working document, how are you going to implement it? Let’s make sure we address who’s the manager, how are we going to communicate it, how are we going to hold people accountable, and how often? Lastly, my tip is simple: Set these strategy review dates before you leave your strategy development session. ”