7 Tips For Successful Strategy Execution
The strategy is a word that is used a lot in business. However, because a strategy is not one thing, it is not very easy to define. Hence, most people don’t know how it ties to the work they do daily.
Strategy can be said to be creating a set of activities that make it possible to thrive in a competitive market.
However, strategy execution is where all the magic happens. It is a focused approach to communicating, applying, and managing strategy.
A strategy is the preferred future that an organization desires. What organizations need to do to prepare their business for the future is to think strategically.
To brilliantly execute a strategy, here are actions and goals you have to put in place to make sure the strategy executes.
1. Prepare for Industry Changes
A strategy that is not robust crumbles at the execution phase. Research suggests that companies, on average, deliver only 63% of the financial performance their strategies promise.
This leaves management confused about whether the strategy is flawed or if they have to push for better execution.
A brilliant strategy has a long-term ambition that can survive major market changes. This strategy has to prepare your organization for sudden upheavals in the business terrain.
For instance, a business that is the market leader today could have many competitors within a short time. A strategy that does not recognize possible pitfalls will flop at the execution stage.
To execute their strategy and maintain control, organizations must continue to ask questions from time to time.
Amazon is an organization that thinks of ideas as assets. Jeff Bezos, the CEO is known as the chief ideator. Bezos believes that a continuous stream of ideas fuels growth.
That the best way to build resilience is to prepare by innovating fast and respecting ideas at all levels.
Also, to act with the urgency needed to speed up strategy implementation. By thinking ahead, they are prepared for the future.
2. Tie Your Strategy Execution to Your Corporate Ambition
Your strategy as a business is tied to your corporate ambition. A company may already have 5 percent of the market share, but the ambition is to move up to 10% market share.
What do they need to do to get to their ambition of 10%? What is the focus area?
What are they offering right currently? What is their competition achieving?
There has to be an alignment of existing human and capital resources and your potential as a business. In tying your strategy to your capabilities, you can execute your business strategy.
An example is IKEA; IKEA is a furniture retail business that sells inexpensive furniture, and its corporate ambition is to offer the lowest prices.
IKEA has designed brilliant capabilities for aesthetically appealing Scandinavian designs.
They are difficult to copy because of their model; they design but do not manufacture furniture. Their manufacturers manufacture in high volumes and ship in flat boxes. These flat boxes make it cheaper to ship.
The complex interdependence makes IKEA difficult to replicate. To compete with IKEA, local competitors in the countries where IKEA stores operate will have to change the way they design, manufacture and ship their furniture.
There are a few things IKEA does not do; IKEA does not compete in the high-end furniture market or offer customization services.
They have a clearly defined strategy that is tied to their corporate ambition. This allows them to continue to win in the long term.
3. Communicate the Strategy
The strategy of a company will not be understood by employees if it lacks clarity. The employees are players and perform a critical part in the successful execution of a strategy.
Because a strategy is not a one-time event, employees will need consistent communication.
Most times, employees will attend strategy sessions and not comprehend how their actions contribute execution of the strategy.
To empower your workers and improve overall strategy execution, line managers and leader have to create a culture that rewards effort.
It is also critical to acknowledge and recognize milestone achievement. This and communicating company goals is important to strategy execution.
According to an HBR article, 50% of executives hadn’t thoroughly considered their team’s sentiment about the change they propose.
Worse, about half said they were just approaching the change going on gut.
Leaders should involve employees in the initial development of a strategy through pieces of training, meetings, and coaching.
An expansive way to communicate your business strategy to employees is to make it simple and precise. Your people should be capable of deciphering your strategy and what is expected of them easily.
Also, to execute your strategy, repetition doesn’t hurt. By sending frequent communication through different channels, your people can interact with information.
4. Stay On Course
It’s effortless for companies to get caught in the indecision maze. But the strategy is about deciding and determining the future you want for your business. Companies that can decide what to focus on being able to implement the strategy.
To expertly execute a strategy, an organization has to focus on the bigger picture. Plus, organizations can focus on what should be the key drivers of their strategy and properly allocate resources to achieve 30% more success with shareholders (Homkes 2015).
The discipline to stay on a course, transparency and openness to diverse perspectives also help organizations focus on a strategy.
Tesla did not invent the electric car. But most people think of all-electric cars are Tesla. This is because Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk launched the company with the mission “to speed up sustainable transport by delivering interesting mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”
The company has established itself as a market leader, and an outstanding example of a strategy executed correctly.
This mission is the driving force behind Tesla’s successful business model.
5. Adapt to Thrive
A strategy is not about building castles in the air. It is founded around data and watching trends. Coca-Cola’s strategy is developing with the habits and choices its target audiences are making.
The company is shifting the focus from what they want to sell to what their customers desire to buy.
According to Coke’s CEO, James Quincy, customers are seeking products with less sugar and more benefits.
The Coca-Cola Company supports the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) that people should limit their intake of added sugar to only 10 percent of their total daily energy intake.
Presently they make smaller sizes to serve consumers and also product benefits that include hydration.
The company presently makes products such as dairy, organic tea, grab-and-go coffee, coconut water, juices and water. Coca-Cola also is investing in consumer education on reducing sugar intake.
All of this shows they maintain a strategy that is driven by consumer insight.
Amazon CEO is also a leader focused on the adaptability of the business. He considers his job as identifying and refining the Innovation Roadmap that will take the company from where it is today to where he wills it to be in the future, on time and schedule.
6. Track Your Goals
A strategy remains a trusted guide that enables an organization to stay up-to-date and thrive in its given market.
To succeed, organizations have to create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) around their strategy to make it easy to measure and monitor the progress of their goal.
Backing your recommendations with figures builds both investor and internal customers’ trust. Whatever success an organization says they have achieved should include proof in figures.
Measuring your activities also helps organizations learn from what couldn’t be implemented and deploy another approach.
Without reviewing past errors, an organization can continue repeating actions that don’t help their strategy.
When organizations comprehend clearly what isn’t working or won’t work, they can use this knowledge as lessons learnt, never to be repeated.
7. Cultivate Grit
You cannot talk about strategy execution without mentioning the important role perseverance, passion, and grit have to play. If you formulate a grand strategy but lacking people who possess grit, your strategy may not execute.
Organizations that exercise resilience and do not give up in the face of challenges always achieve brilliant success.
To persevere and be passionate is not solely for the leaders but cuts across every function in the business.
Grit is sustaining interest in your goals, even in the face of setbacks and adversity. When an organization has grit, they can surmount pressure to give up and see their efforts bring forth fruit.
Grit is not a refusal to evaluate goals from time to time to see what’s working or not; it’s simply having the strength of character to fully exploit business opportunities.
You don’t consider your organization successful until you can execute your chosen strategy against all odds and even replicate successes.
An organization that prioritizes strategy is not just able to survive but to thrive. They can be change catalysts in their niche market and communities.
You must know that a strategy doesn’t have to be complicated; neither is it one size fits all. A strategy that works perfectly for a manufacturing business may not work for a consulting business.
Once you ask, ‘What do I need to do to win in my niche market?’ You know you are already thinking strategically.
Whatever your industry, there is a strategy that will suit your business and deliver growth when it is executed.