There are two steps to achieve a goal: plan and execute. Yet so often, businesses get stuck in planning mode and never move into action.
This is exactly what happened for years with a new Kleriti client. During a recent strategic planning session with them, members of the leadership team told me how they never gain traction or make progress because they’re stuck spinning their wheels talking about what they should do. This lack of execution paralyzes them, holding them back from realizing success.
For your business to get where you want it to go, both parts of the goal-achievement equation must be in play. In fact, entrepreneur and author Tim Berry goes so far as to argue that, “Good business planning is nine parts execution for every one part strategy.” Without the action, the words — and planning — don’t count for much. They certainly won’t get you to increased profit, a powerhouse team or more efficient workflows.
Overcome this stall-out and translate your strategy into action to realize positive change with these 5 practices.
Determine The Decision-Making Process
Lack of clarity on who is empowered to make which decisions is a quick way to hit a wall when it comes to execution. Decide how decisions will be made up front and by whom, to save your team time, confusion and even contentious debates as you implement the plan. How you handle decision-making will be influenced by your company’s culture. For example, if you encourage employees to share their opinions, you may include them in a vote. If you hold decisions closer to the vest, your leadership may come to consensus and communicate decisions downward.
Establish Deadlines And Responsibility
As you outline who makes the decisions, also decide on other key aspects of each person’s role in the strategy’s implementation. Clearly communicate to every relevant party what you expect from them, and by when. Your team can best implement the strategy when they have complete clarity about what they’re responsible for.
Define 90-Day Milestones
Delaying tasks until it’s absolutely necessary to do them is human nature. Research shows that up to 20 percent of people are chronic procrastinators. So it stands to reason that team members will wait until the deadline is staring them in the face to complete a task. Break your plan into chunks with milestones every 90 days, and to dos every week. This allows you to focus on smaller, immediate steps and to feel the motivation and satisfaction of making continual progress.
Hold Regular Check-Ins
Keep your team (even the procrastinators!) on track with ongoing check-ins. We suggest structured weekly meetings — one for leadership and one for each team or work unit. This drives appropriate focus at all levels of the organization. Confirm whether the previous week’s to dos were completed or not, and allow team members to share the issues facing them. That way you can overcome challenges and continue moving forward.
Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’
It’s easy to become distracted by a new idea or change in direction. Avoid this tendency like the plague, and keep your eye on the ball. Don’t allow anything else to come into the plan unless it passes the litmus test of aligning with your company’s vision and mission, and supporting the goals you’ve set. And if you do opt to add something, take something else out to help keep your team and the action they’re taking on track and manageable.
Does your company struggle to translate your strategy into action? Contact Kleriti Business Solutions to get you moving. Our consultants will partner with you to break the trend and realize execution momentum like never before.