Ownership of a Strategy

A while back I was sitting in a meeting with a team of managers who had some of the best looking strategic plans that I had seen. The plans consisted of a thorough analysis of the situation, a clear SWOT analysis, well-defined goals and a set of actions that looked like they were (at least) a pretty good way to get from the current situation to the goals while avoiding identified pitfalls.

I asked two authors of the plans if they are following them.

They answered that they were not following them, and that they only provided the plans because their supervisors had asked for them. Ooops. The supervisors were in the room with the authors. A point was communicated to all of us.

Which would result in better use of planning time:

  1. a plan that has one line item that is critically important to achieving the Vision, that people subsequently work to implement over the planning period, or
  2. a perfect looking plan with all the right analysis, objectives and action steps that is subsequently not implemented?

How can we ensure ownership of plans by the people who are due to implement them? Please feel free to comment with answers to this question.

1 thought on “Ownership of a Strategy

  1. George Mamboleo

    This is a perfect scenario – if they were doing what the supervisors were asking (something is wrong somewhere) we should ask ourselves on who owns those plans? the issue is not even ownership but rather rather the relationships between the supervisor and the followers. It all depends how it was communicated to them – may be the supervisor also said that he has been asked by the supervisor on top to produce the plans. There is need for a corporate ownership where both the leaders and followers ask a question what do we want to achieve in the next (six months, one year, three years etc)? I am assuming that this has been achieved; however it begs the question – how was it formulated? who were the champions? was it from top or bottom? What forum did we use to include the bottom where the action takes place?
    I am just asking! we need answers so that each person can own the plans.

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