You're ready to grow your business and have mapped out and created a strategy that will help you reach your goals. But what is the most common thing that happens after business owners set their strategy? Nothing. Not a single thing. It’s not that you don’t want great things to happen after you set your strategy. It’s that things go back to ‘business-as-usual’ and more times than not, very little action taking actually happens.
The challenge for many business owners is to turn all the thinking and dreaming you've just completed when undertaking your strategic planning, into action and implementation.
Strategy is just like creating a vision for the future. You set your strategic plans, and get excited about the future. However to make that vision a reality, you need to practice implementation and taking action.
Action taking is the missing link between strategy and success.
For many of us, taking action is harder than it initially sounds. It’s something that we need to work at, to practice, to break down into bite-sized pieces.
When you put together your strategic business plan, you may have set longer term goals (5, 10, 20 year goals), medium term goals (2 to 5 year goals) and short term goals (any goal less than one year in the future).
While setting long term goals is an important part of your strategy and overall vision, you then need to take a step back and break these goals into smaller, more manageable timeframes. So you might create quarterly or 90 day plans from your yearly goal, which should then be broken down into monthly, weekly, and potentially daily goals.
This is where creating a strategic action plan is important. By keeping yourself and your staff accountable on a daily or weekly basis, it is much easier to get traction and the results you desire.
How often have you felt like you were making great traction towards your goal, to suddenly realise that others in your team weren’t pulling their weight? Or maybe your team was taking action, but you were the one pulling the chain and not contributing?
A key element in turning strategy into action is by ensuring there is accountability across the board. Accountability should be for owners, managers, employees - everyone that is part of your team.
A great way to ensure accountability, is to put a structure in place that keeps everyone accountable. Some options to support accountability in your team and workplace include:
With any of the software or tools that you utilise to assist with accountability for your team, it is essential that someone in the team is responsible for reporting on the progress of each of the strategic priorities or actions.
See Related Post: 3 Tips To Ensure Your Employees Execute Your Strategy
To take steps to really turn your strategy into action, you need to make sure that your team are all on board. Have you taken the time to share your current strategy with them? Whether you share your strategy through a group session, or one-on-one, you need to ensure that you clearly communicate your strategic goals. Have you explained how they will play a role in helping to achieve the success of your strategic plan? Have you shared your expectations and if there are KPIs to be reached, both as a business and individually? By taking the time to ensure that your whole team has buy in, you will have a much higher chance of reaching your goals.
Communication is a key ingredient to help your business turn strategy into action. By ensuring that all management and staff communicate openly and effectively, this can lead to improved outcomes and the success of your strategies. Improving communication in your business also has the added potential to increase job satisfaction for those in your team.
By encouraging open communication throughout your business, your team will feel more valued and willing to share their thoughts and provide feedback.
Developing strategies within your business is a great place to start to build momentum and create a vision of success. However the key to turning those strategies into success in your business is by taking action.
Taking consistent daily actions, encouraging and empowering your team to do the same, and ensuring accountability across your business will ensure that you have the best chance of watching your strategies turn into success.