Anyone who’s been around the business block a couple of times almost certainly has more than their fair share of horror stories to tell around “strategic revamps”, “pivots” and “repositioning”. Things, to put it kindly, don’t always go well.
The sad fact is that, while there’s no doubting the need for ongoing strategic review at all levels of a business, a worrying amount of such initiatives fall flat once it comes to actual implementation. And, nine times out of ten, what eventually puts a spanner in the works is the people part of the equation.
Put simply, unless you have actual buy-in from your team and a structured process to drive change with, your best efforts at introducing new ideas in an organisation are likely to stall on the runway. With a view to giving your grand designs the best possible chance of actually being built, let’s look at three simple steps you can take up front to make sure team members don’t become part of the problem.
- Start From the Top
Our first point is a stern reminder that leaders have to actually lead. In order for strategies to be effectively implemented, it needs to be crystal clear to all concerned that the vision at the top of the organisation is firmly held, clearly articulated, and a major priority for the company.
While bottom-up feedback is always to be welcomed, the basic direction of a company needs to be firmly set by the executive team from the outset. Particular points will naturally change over time but, in order to have employees take things seriously, the key targets you’re aiming at need to be agreed on by all of the executive team and strongly communicated.
- Institute OKRs
There are many ways to skin this particular cat, but something akin to the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) system made famous at Google and many other leading firms needs to be in place. Put very simply, this means everybody in the company has to be able to answer two questions:
- What are my key goals for this quarter?
- How will I know those goals have been met?
Again, overall direction has to be set from above here. Ideally, the executive team defines answers to these questions for the company as a whole, and then makes sure that all individual OKRs below that align.
- Identify and Invest in Your Leaders
In addition to making sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet at the very top of your organisation, you should also be aiming to inculcate leadership as a quality throughout your team. This begins by identifying who on the team looks to have natural abilities in this area, and then making sure you are giving those people in particular enough time and training to blossom and progress.
With those three points in place, you’re already in a better position than a surprisingly huge amount of companies and have radically improved your chances of execution not becoming a bugbear. In making sure team members don’t become part of the problem, you’re in great shape to dive deeper in terms of actively soliciting feedback, improving metrics and measurements, and the million and one other practical steps that can be taken to drive results. We wish you all the best with implementing our steps and making sure things get done!