‘EXECUTE – Flawlessly’
‘EXECUTE – Flawlessly’
Now flawlessly might seem a bit of a stretch – it’s not out of your reach. Developing and maintaining flawless execution demands preparation and planning, takes significant effort over an extended period and requires sustained commitment.
If strategy delivers a promise (of a future state), then execution delivers on the promise of your strategy. One essential truth I’ve learned is that you don’t just jump from strategy development to execution. In fact, it’s the wise and disciplined organizations that know they have to purposefully bridge the transition from strategy development to execution in order to build in the predictability of achieving results. It’s the huge missing link in the post mortem of unsuccessful implementations.
It’s the ‘no man’s land’ between strategy and execution. There are 3 key elements to bridging transition:
1. Strategic Transition, involving
a. Interdependence mapping – of the key strategic elements against themselves for strategic context and then against the organizational structure for functional fit – the light bulbs that go off are amazing! The one-dimension of your strategy becomes real, integrated and actionable. Synergies, common areas of contribution, and redundancies become very visible.
b. Prioritization and Resource Allocation – a natural outcome of the mapping exercises reveals a strength of strategic impact of certain key areas and initiatives, which informs implementation prioritization and allocation of resources.
c. Budget integration – with the knowledge of priorities and desired allocation of resources, the budgeting process (immediate and longer term) comes into focus and actually supports the achievement of the strategy.
d. Change Management Principles – at its core, execution is about driving strategies that require people to do things differently, and balancing between the ‘urgent’ day job and the ‘important’ new goals. Internalizing the key constructs and principles to understand and lead change are absolutely essential for both leaders and the organization. They offer a common language, diagnostic and empowerment for moving from what was to beginning what will be.
2. Execution Planning, involving
a. Scope and Considerations – which give depth and breadth to what’s necessary to deliver results and the key success factors (and barriers to overcome) to consciously reinforce. This portion makes it obvious that flawless execution is all of our jobs. A few central outputs are:
i. Work Structure – how/what teams may be formed
ii. Timeline with milestones – key guideposts of measurable progress of the overall execution plan
iii. Action Plan – broad granularity of key actions, key deliverables and lead accountabilitiesb.
b. Communications Plan – a thorough layout of the multiple mediums, audiences, messaging, frequency, and ’voice’ to convey progress, invite participation and deepen engagement throughout the organization. Remember, information is the currency of successful change.
3. Change Readiness – any level of strategic execution has an element of change, whether it’s strategic, organizational or operational. Below are classic examinations, deeper dives depending on the magnitude of change which inform your overall execution planning:
a. Strategy Mapping
b. Readiness Assessment
c. Human Capital Assessment
d. Systemic Assessmentent
i. Process mapping
ii. Business examination
e. Infrastructure Assessment
The investment you make in bridging strategy and execution will pay huge dividends and help ensure the strategic plan doesn’t dissolve into a disparate list of to dos with no coordinated/integrated effort and questionable results. It’s the backbone for ultimately translating, aligning, operationalizing and integrating the strategy into the fabric of the organization.
Translating the strategy to operational terms, aligning the organization with the strategy and driving accountability require clear and constant communication, a balanced approach to measurable outcomes, and a solid performance management system linking behavior with performance.
Flawless execution is possible when you invest upfront. Check out the website, and see how you can learn more and integrate it into your leadership.
Next month I look forward to sharing the R. of the L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. series – ‘RESULTS’
~ Victoria Raymont