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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

10 Steps for Effective Strategy Execution

Dave Gray, author of Communication Nation, offers this list of 10 principles for effective strategy execution, as excerpted from an article by Robert Johnson.

  1. Recognize (and manage) complexity: There is usually no one single solution to any problem. Rather than trying to "boil down" to a single approach, focus on articulating a clear direction that can help people see how different components weave into a larger approach.
  2. Focus on adoption: Whatever it is you're implementing, if people aren't asking for it and they don't start using it, you're probably forcing it on them (and you'll probably fail)
  3. Deliver tangible and visible benefits: Determine how you will measure success, be sure it makes sense, and measure it.
  4. Prioritize according to business needs: Look for quick wins. Short-term, tangible benefits help drive adoption early, when people are skeptical and you need support most.
  5. Take a journey of a thousand steps: Change is a marathon, not a sprint. A series of small steps, when aligned with a common and well-articulated vision, will increase your chances for success, and help reduce your risk of failure.
  6. Provide strong leadership: If you're a leader, focus your efforts on communicating the vision, and making sure people understand the importance and urgency of the initiative.
  7. Mitigate risks: Identify risks up front and plan how to address them. Expect that it will cost more than you think -- it will! One way to reduce risk is to tighten up the budget.
  8. Communicate extensively: Establish a clear, simple message at the beginning of the project, and create a plan to communicate extensively throughout the implementation. If people aren't hearing about it they'll assume it isn't important.
  9. Aim to deliver a seamless user experience: Keep it simple, be clear and consistent.
  10. Choose the first project very carefully: Think of your first project -- and plan it -- as a catalyst for change. Start by giving people something that helps them do their jobs better.

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