Struggling to operationalise your corporate strategy? Here are our top six pieces of advice.

Shot of a group of business colleagues meeting in the boardroom

Since time began, great ideas have started with a glimmer of an idea, turning into a bright aspiration and a progressive strategy. So why is it so difficult for organisations to make the shift from the status quo to the new vision? Why do most struggle to move big ideas into action effectively and timely?

Our advisory team is versed in speaking strategy and turning dusty documents into living, breathing, executable initiatives. So, we’ve got a keen understanding of the most common reasons why doing the doing is so much harder than doing the thinking and how we help to move strategies forward.

1 – Make sure everyone is on the bus

It’s an old analogy but a good one.  Often, a sub-segment of a board or leadership team has devised the strategy – and they’re excited about presenting it. Taking people on the strategy journey is the most fundamental part of achieving success. However, as organisations grow over time, they become more complex and interdependent. Having a proper communication strategy that clearly articulates the choices that have been made and tailored to the audience increases the chance of success by helping people decide where to focus their attention, energy, resources and capabilities.

2 – Architect your changes

Use your expert silo-busters (your Enterprise and/or Business architecture practice) to assess and architect the changes needed to move your business initiatives forward. By constructing diagnostic, actionable, and measurable deliverables, they create a shared understanding of the changes required to people, processes and technology that business leaders can use to enact the strategy.

3 – Eat the elephant one spoon at a time

It’s so easy to bite off more than we can chew. The bright lights are calling and everyone is choosing their chunk of strategy. Then the realisation hits….this has to be done on top of the day job. And it slips in priority, business as usual takes over, motivation wanes, people start skipping meetings, the sprints turn into slows, and it stalls.  Achieving goals over a sensible timeframe helps delivery. Once you’ve created your plan, moving towards the desired state becomes less daunting when initiatives are bite sized.

4 – Assign clear ownership and accountabilities

Who owns the delivery of the strategy? Everyone does! And the more people you can get involved, the better. So often initiatives stall when accountabilities reside with a team of executives who are already struggling to find more time in their day. Based on our experience, organisations have swathes of capable people on board, most of whom want to understand where they fit and find a way to prove value – so, share the vision and the workload!

5 –Set up a proper implementation plan

Without a structured implementation plan, organisations struggle to operationalise high-level strategies into actionable deliverables. Clearly defined tasks, responsibilities, timelines and milestones with regular progress reviews ensure a sense of ownership and a clear vision of expectations, which are easy to attribute to performance and success.

6 – Treat change management as a strategic discipline, rather than an afterthought

Change management is critical for helping to prepare, equip, and support individuals to adopt change successfully. Engage and empower change managers to drive initiatives forward from the outset of strategy execution. Change management should be an imperative rather than an afterthought (or worse as a communication and training effort at the end of an initiative) Embed Change Management as a strategic discipline from the beginning and the results will speak for themselves.


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