Plan Execution – Are you a disciplined plan driver?
Recently, I had a conversation with a banker about the strategy, planning and execution issues some of his clients were having. He made the astute observation that “planning is great, though if you can’t execute the plan, it has no value.” Most companies with a planning process have rolled out their strategic and annual plan for 2021 by this point, and the execution phase of that plan has begun. Unfortunately, now is when many owners lose focus, and things stall or fall apart within the first 90 days. Everyone blames the planning, or the process, or both, for the failure of the plan. But that’s not it.
The key to a successful strategic plan has always been the discipline to actually implement it.
Implementation is hard work. It takes focus. Commitment. Communication. Measurable outcomes. Tracking. And accountability. To begin a successful plan implementation process, you first need to establish alignment with and within your team, through clearly articulated strategic initiatives, annual goals, and, perhaps most importantly, through a defined, disciplined, measured deployment process. And that process requires its own tools for success.
Set your team up to succeed.
The STUCK method is such a deployment tool. It is flexible, interactive, cloud-based software that helps organizations maintain execution discipline and focus. Utilizing the ‘Single-Page Plan’ method, you can quickly create clarity in the communication of the company objectives with literally a one-page plan that identifies the goals and targets to measure progress. This method works because it enhances employee empowerment, is easily digested and understood by your team, drives accountability, and keeps everyone engaged to achieve the plan.
An important caveat for organizational success – be aspirational but also practical. Review your total initiatives and goals with your team and make sure you are not overreaching. Ensure you have the talent and bandwidth to achieve your initiatives, and that, while your goals are a stretch for your organization, they are still attainable.
The key to successful plan implementation? Accountability.
Once we have helped you develop and roll out your plan, we guide your team in a systematic, implementation-oriented monthly action plan (MAP) review process that really jumpstarts your progress towards sustained growth. Why does it work? It drives accountability:
* Instills Ownership of ideas and goals – assigns strategic initiative ‘champions’ with defined goals, responsibilities, and deadlines.
* Installs Discipline – initiates monthly reviews of progress towards goals.
* Celebrates Results – tracks and measures/reports data-driven outcomes
Monthly MAP meetings establish a cadence of accountability, by formalizing and streamlining your organization’s communication and commitment to accomplishing the execution of a plan. They are a disciplined cycle of meetings, designed to rigorously align everyone, which require strategic initiative champions to methodically update you and their peers about the success/concerns of their implementation efforts based on defined metrics of success.
For each initiative and goal, initiative champions create a plan with key objectives and tasks with due dates. This accountability cascade of objectives and tasks is systematically managed by your team and their plan execution status is then reported back to you. The result? An organization that is tightly aligned, forward-looking, task-oriented, and laser-focused on delivering desired outcomes in established timeframes.
Rinse, Repeat. Develop the habit of planning for the future and expecting results.
While some companies excel at strategic forecasting and planning, many don’t even attempt it. Because of the demands of plan execution, these companies consider the effort too difficult or time consuming. Too many business owners get lost or bogged down in near term, day to day concerns and thus miss the implications for impact on future growth. Don’t be one of those owners or companies. Establish the discipline. The intent of planning is to launch a habit of looking forward, and then making decisions on future data points. We will provide you with the expertise and rigorous deployment tools essential to develop your organization’s skills for plan execution and follow-through. With the STUCK method, the Single Page Plan Process and MAP meetings assisting your team, you will be on the road for growth.
If you would like to learn more about using the same process, please call us directly at 414-377-3525 or 312-544-0239 for a discussion or video call where we demonstrate how you can implement the process and get back onto a growth path.