Why is it that companies, big or small, find it difficult to execute on strategy?
Having worked for over 20 years in the corporate world I have experienced, many times over, a huge disconnect between what the top layer executives vision and strategy is and what those further down the organization are actually working on, and towards. In fact, the further down the organization you go the strategy and vision of the company is either not known or are not translated to be something meaningful to those performing the jobs. Unless of course it is the 4th financial quarter and not all targets are being met and then all hell breaks loose and ‘strategy’, and I use that term very loosely, starts to be worked upon, and it has to be done NOW!
For the smaller companies, it’s slightly different because you don’t have all those layers to confuse and dilute matters. For us small businesses, I see it as a time issue, as in whatever is in my face right now, that needs to get done today, takes priority, always. A longer term initiative, to actions that will get you closer to reaching those goals you set out for your business, does not usually fit into the’ get done today’ box.
But it’s important, right? It’s a plan of where we want to go, what our desired future is.
We only have to look at how difficult it is as individuals to action our goals. Like my ‘Get fit’ Strategy. My plan is that I follow a fitness program together with my husband which sees us getting up at 6 am Monday to Friday and following that daily exercise program. This week, Monday was a holiday and my oldest son had a hockey tournament so I skipped it, this morning I skipped it because it was cold out, and I had slept badly. If I am not careful that strategy is going to be just that, a strategy; a goal not realized.
By doing this, I do in fact (in my mind at least) already have a body like Claudia Schiffer and the strength of Rambo, because every day I am one step closer to reaching my goal. It’s no different in my business. I have to take my big audacious goals and break them down into smaller, manageable actions that I can work on week after week. That way my goals, however much I want to succeed, are not so scary and I don’t keep putting off working on them.
So, what I have learned is that what makes any goal achievable is not only about having a strategy; it’s about making sure that the plan of action we create to reach our goals is actioned, bit by bit.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a personal goal or a business vision…
Make it manageable, make it visible and make it possible by breaking it down into actions you can execute on….every single day!
In one of my future blogs I’ll focus in on making it visible, in everything you do, in every decision you take, in every action you work on because there in lies some secret sauce to making it sustainable.