There are two accusations often leveled at consultants. One is that they arrive to solve a problem, only to stay and become part of it. The other is that the strategy they help create goes from their computer to a printer and then onto a shelf, never to be seen again.
That’s why when a client asks me to help them create a strategy document, I always tell them, “I can do that, but on its own, that document is just an expensive bookend. We need to create something that becomes part of the organization’s DNA, not a dust trap.”
Strategy implementation can't be explained in a blog post - but here are my Top 3 tips for ensuring that your plans don't just end up getting filed.
Be prepared for objections. Most complaints will be rooted in fear and anxiety in the face of change, rather than a flaw in your plan. Be ready for them, and present change as an opportunity rather than a threat.
Select change champions in key positions: As a CEO, you shouldn't be getting bogged down in day-to-day tactics. You need people on your team to drive the new strategy at an operational level. These individuals should be: convinced about the potential of the new strategy; persuasive; resilient in the face of resistance; and capable of identifying changes that need to be made on the fly.
Audit regularly, adjust as necessary: As boxing legend Joe Louis once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get hit”. It’s why 5-year plans are usually a waste of everyone’s time and money. Rather than micro-managing, use your change champions as your eyes and ears, and let them alert you to necessary adjustments as you go. Then, perform occasional spot checks at regular intervals to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Strategy work is too important to end up in a dead document. If you want some ideas about how to bring your new strategy to life, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Hamish Mackenzie, 2020