Strategy execution or performance management is a vast topic. And therefore it’s quite easy to get lost in the details. Make sure you keep the following 5 essentials in mind. They are the cornerstones of a best-in-class strategy execution.
1. Always link organisational and individual performance.
You can look at performance from an organisational perspective or an individual perspective. And the two must be linked in order to realise your strategy. Most will agree with this statement, but few actually make it happen. There are plenty of reasons why companies fail, but the three major ones are: the fragmented views from finance, HR and – if present – the strategy department; a lack of ownership by middle management; and the absence of a simple methodology.
2. Ride the top-down and bottom-up execution highway
Everyone – from the CEO to the blue-collar worker − is involved in executing the strategy. Their roles might be different, but each individual contributes to the organisation’s overall performance. Successful Strategy Execution includes both top-down as well as bottom-up processes.
3. Strategy Execution as a never-ending story
Strategy Execution is not a one-off exercise. It’s a continuous, ongoing, ‘endless’ process. Most companies aim for an annual, recurring cycle. But in challenging times like today, the cycle goes much faster. With each cycle, you can improve your execution capability and get a better performance return on your strategy.
4. Make your strategy easy to remember … and to communicate!
As I mentioned before, Strategy Execution a vast, complex topic − but this doesn’t mean that your communication needs to be that way too. Presenting your strategy in a focused, easy-to-remember way gives a great recognition boost in your organisation. And recognition is one of the first steps you need to take when you want to change behaviour.
5. The manager, a real performance hero
The manager is a key Strategy Execution actor. He/She participates in all activities, including: strategy communication, translating the strategy to department, division or team, setting his/her own objectives, defining objectives for the team, coaching for performance, and evaluating performance. The quality of your Strategy Execution is strongly linked to the effectiveness of your managers. The better your managers carry out their Strategy Execution role, the better the results you will achieve.
These 5 essentials don’t cover all of the ins and outs of the Strategy Execution process. It’s not supposed to. But it does provide a necessary, easy starting point for a best-in-class Strategy Execution approach in your organisation.