This month we're asking the questions - where should I play and how do I execute my plan in the most effective way possible.
This blog carries on from Part 1 which featured in our February Bite-Size News.
Down to the wire – where should I play?
So, how do you choose between all the strategic possibilities that will have emerged from the work you did with your facilitator? Here are a few tips to help you maintain the momentum and focus your plan:
- Brainstorm every idea, then debate the pros and cons. Don’t hold back – the smallest idea can provide a platform to build sound growth
- Recognise that building upon what you’re already good at, or can be good at, will give you an edge
- Understand who you have in your business, and their potential to take it where you want it to go. Do you want to shape the future of your industry? Do you want to adapt to it? Or do you just want to play in the same sandpit?
- Work through the risk factors of your ideas; for example, aiming to shape the future of an industry is high-risk, high-reward stuff.
- Benchmark every strategy against your vision and goals. Will they help you achieve them?
Still on the wire
You’ve narrowed the options, so picking the best one is the next challenge. This can be a tough process, because it may mean rejecting what appear to be convincing business options with great potential.
Keep in mind the market risks associated with positioning your business – many of which are beyond your direct control. However, remember you can almost always control the implementation risks: you manage the resources, infrastructure, intellectual property and everything else that you need to make it happen.
It’s crunch time
Well, you’ve done the easy part compared to what lies ahead. Fail to get the next bit right and you’re doomed. To succeed, you need to communicate passion and energy from the top. Senior managers can’t pass the buck – they’ve got to communicate the strategy. In most successful organisations, senior people are the internal sales people that infuse staff with a passion for success. So implement the following:
- Tell everyone what you’re doing and why you’re doing it
- Put in place continuous education programs that give your people the skills to do what you want them to do
- Establish goal-setting programs that keep everyone focused on the main game
- Reinforce these goals with motivating remuneration and reward systems
Time for action
Once you’re sure your people know where the organisation is headed, it’s time to show them how to get there. This means demonstrating how people, money and other resources will come together to achieve the plan, so you need to...
- Develop a schedule of action for what happens when
- Make sure that all parts of the business, including financial resources, are focused on implementing the plan
- Link people’s goals and job descriptions with the blueprint for action, making the blueprint the yardstick for performance. If people implement it well, reward them accordingly. If they don’t… well, that’s another story
- Put in place effective monitoring procedures to track how everything is going. In the wake of all successful, fast growing companies are the remains of senior managers who failed to make the blueprint a reality.