So, you have a strategy, but are you following it? Writing down a strategy is the easy part. Getting 1,000+ people to change what they do to follow it is the hard part. In this previous article I commented on the need for rapid resource (people and money) allocation to reflect a strategic change.
I like what is said in this video from McKinsey quoting one of their consultants:
“I don’t want to read your strategy plan. I want to see what’s shifted in your budget. Then I’ll tell you what your strategy is.”
Could someone reverse engineer your strategy based upon your team’s expenditure? They should be able to do so.
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:
- 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
- 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.