At the end of the day, a strategy is only as good as its execution. One of the most difficult challenges to implementing a strategy is consistent execution of the action plan that materializes the strategy.
You know the drill. You’re excited about the strategy, you engage your team in the exciting new future, and collaborate with them on their part of the plan.
Everyone talks about what they’re going to do. Steps are taken. You get caught up into the tasks. With each meeting, you review the day-to-day urgency of the moment.
Then, one day it hits you.
Wait! What’s the delay? How did the team get so off track?
Your immediate knee-jerk reaction may be to throw your hands up in frustration or wonder what to do next. Instead, consider asking questions to get back on track:
1. Do you have a strategy? Do you consistently communicate the strategy? Is the strategy in alignment with your company’s Contribution in the World? A strategy is designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Many leaders think they have a strategy when in fact they merely have goals.
2. Have you translated that strategy into identified goals, objectives, and action plans? If your team is not meeting their goals, as the leader, you may want to look into your own life. First, ask yourself if you’re fulfilling on areas that you promised. When you fully honor your own goals, watch as it creates a ripple effect with your team. Second, ask yourself if you are putting in what it takes for your team to generate the results. You might just find something is missing, like a new approach, communication, training, or a process.
3. In what ways have you aligned and operationalized that plan? Do you have a consistent process to meet with your team, measure performance to plan, and remove barriers to success? Communicating your action plans only once does not bring a goal into existence. Consistent communication about the metrics, promises, expectations, and desired future is key to delivering performance. Additionally, along the way, make sure to check in to see if the activities align with the company’s Contribution in the World. Without alignment and action consistent with your Contribution, it’s just metrics and meaningless meetings.
4. Does your team have the skills to execute the plan? Just because the team has their goals, they may be missing the skills to achieve them, like how to:
-Reverse engineer a project.
-Tackle a big project by breaking down the project and creating action steps and timelines with their team.
-Prioritize important and urgent matters.
-Effectively use an existence system so they make progress on what they promised and are responsible for.
As a leader, you might just find the answer to generating a high performance team and achieving your strategy is actually a question.