"The greatest strategy in the world is useless - if you cannot execute it."
Here are the seven critical elements of strategy execution:
- People. Strategy formulation often gathers the "smartest people in the room." However, it's not the senior leadership team that executes strategy - it's everyone in your workforce. Get the right people in the right positions.
- Communication. Strategy can only be executed if your employees know about it and really understands it. Most importantly, each person needs to understand how their daily activities fit with and support the strategy.
- Direction. When your new business strategy is communicated, do your employees know what to do differently? Do they have the right tools and individual plans to execute the strategy?
- Measurement. "You can't manage it, if you can't measure it." Do you have the right measures for monitoring the new strategy?
- Alignment. Your organization needs to be aligned between what you say you are going to do (strategy) and what vital few objectives, initiatives and daily activities (execution) you are undertaking to effectively support the strategy.
- Reward and Recognition. The introduction of a new strategy often introduces change in behavior. To ensure success, new behaviors need to be reinforced (rewarded for positive behaviors) so they are repeated.
- Continual Review. The execution of strategy must be continually reviewed in order to make mid-course corrections and to understand measurement success. Finding errors early in the process and making corrections improves your ability to execute strategy successfully.