8 Fatal Mistakes In Strategy Implementation

by Paul Simister on February 22, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about mistakes in strategic planning.

But planning is the start of the strategy journey and not the end.

Effective implementation is essential if you are going to be achieve your strategic goals

However this is where it does get more difficult since you have to get your staff, customers and suppliers to take action.

Just how difficult a challenge it is, can be seen from watching how senior management teams struggle to take action consistent with the strategy.

The 8 Fatal Mistakes In Strategy Implementation

  1. Strategy Implementation Mistake 1 – Failing to put your strategic objectives and logic in writing.
  2. Strategy Implementation Mistake 2 – Failing to regularly refer back to your strategic plan. The memory does play funny tricks and the agreed strategy may not be as you remember it.
  3. Strategy Implementation Mistake 3 – Not communicating your strategy to your team of employees. If you don’t tell them where you are heading and how you will get there, how can you expect their actions and everyday decisions to be consistent with your strategy?
  4. Strategy Implementation Mistake 4 – Not sitting down with each employee or group of employees and explaining what the new strategy means to them and how their role has to change.If your new strategy is improved customer service, shouldn’t your staff know what improved customer service means in their jobs? And if they don’t have the skills, provide training.
  5. Strategy Implementation Mistake 5 – Using rewards and incentives which conflict with your strategy.If you change strategy, you must change the incentives since people will do what you reward them to to do. Not having incentives that support your strategy makes life tougher, having incentives which conflict with your strategy means that you will fail.
  6. Strategy Implementation Mistake 6 – Not measuring progress on your strategic objectives. If something is important, measure it.
  7. Strategy Implementation Mistake 7 – Failing to develop the right business processes which can deliver customer benefits and value at a low cost. This means focusing on both efficiency and effectiveness and knowing when to trade-of one for the other.
  8. Strategy Implementation Mistake 8 – Failing to periodically revise your strategy and especially if the external environment is unstable.

No Plan Survives Contact With The Enemy

It was General Eisenhower who said “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. Implementing a rigid plan is impossible because you can’t predict how all the important players will act.

That’s why it is important to know the overall objective and broad guidelines since they should influence everything done.

Paul Simister is a differentiation coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.

You too can move past your profit tipping point by answering the seven big questions of business success.

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