Archive for the ‘Strategy Implementation’ Category

Communication: A Key Element of Building Trust

Friday, March 24th, 2017

By M Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Trust is a key element in business relationships.  Without trust, it can be much more difficult to get your people to engage effectively in your business.  It can be harder to get your message across to everyone in the business.  And it will most likely impede progress toward building the culture you want and obtaining the results you are aiming for in your strategic planning implementation.

Effective communications inside the organization are one of the keys to building trust. At the highest level, people need to see that you are willing to give them what they need in terms of information about the goals and objectives of the organization. Unless your people know what you want from them, and how those expectations impact what they do, it can be difficult to get everyone pulling their oars in the right direction. If you communicate to your people what is expected of them, and, importantly, why it is expected and how their efforts impact the results of the organization, those results should be better and more attainable. Included in this area should be two-way communications.  Do you value the input and ideas your staff can offer?  Do you listen attentively and respond fairly and objectively?  Do your people feel comfortable enough to trust you with their ideas, and to expect you will evaluate and value their input?

Do you keep your word?  Can people trust you to do what you say and to live to the standards you have expressed to them in your communications with them?  When you make a mistake, and everyone does on occasion, do you openly acknowledge your error and do everything possible to make it right?  Do you hold yourself to the same standards you expect them to attain?  Are you leading by example?

Do you share your strategies and plans with your people? People need to understand where the organization is going in order to make their own contributions to the overall results.  Have you effectively communicated with them so they know what is the overall course and direction of the company?

Focus on good results and contributions, and do so in public, so others see you supporting your people.  If you need to criticize someone, do so in private.  This helps the individual being criticized to understand that you respect them, and that you are trying to help them.  Criticizing someone in public is humiliating to not only the person being berated, but also anyone else who views the scene.

Concentrate on building long term relationships, built on values, basic principles and high level ethics. Think long term and how your actions affect everyone you are in contact with in the organization.  Building trust through effective communications at multiple levels will help build your team’s confidence and effectiveness.  This will help you attain the long term results you are aiming for from your strategic planning.  Your team will support you and give you the effort needed to move the organization in the direction you are striving to go.

We can help with your team building, strategy formulation and effective implementation.  Contact me at baldwin@cssp.com or at 616-575-3193 to discuss how we may help you.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Getting Everything Done

Friday, March 10th, 2017

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

One of the sticky problems most people face in strategic planning is execution.  Over 80% of executives we survey in our seminars cite strategy implementation as their biggest issue with strategic planning.  Meeting strategic objectives is difficult enough that many companies bypass this part of the strategy process and focus most of their effort on key performance metrics.  While performance metrics – such as Balanced Scorecard – can play a useful role in implementing strategy, they tend to fall short in the areas of true strategic change and innovation.  This is because good strategies – for many companies – may involve forays into new technologies, markets and processes.

In such situations, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to manage change through the use of metrics – especially since the management team, while familiar with their current operational metrics, may have little experience with understanding the numbers in new areas.  A good example of this can be seen in the transition from using print and broadcast advertising to advertising using SEO and social networks.  An experienced hand at print advertising could, indeed, make good inroads in digital marketing, but the numbers will at first seem meaningless – and then, possibly, much too large or small.  This is because the nature of interaction changes when you make such a big strategic shift – and the value of the eyeballs you may be accessing with your advertising can change dramatically based upon how they are targeted.  The metrics of the one world simply don’t help manage the metrics of the other, except at a very basic accounting level.

Getting real strategic objectives completed, then, is rarely a matter of moving the needle on a metric.  It’s much more likely to be a learning activity where the objective is simply knowing how to do the things needed – and then, ideally defining a path to mastery.

Without question, the greatest tools for getting this kind of objective done are project-based, and tend to have three things in common:

  1. Sound objective setting
  2. Realistic resource allocation
  3. Routine progress review

A process that assures a simple, but robust approach to these things will greatly enhance real strategic activity directed towards your objectives.  How does your process stack up?

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Strategic Planning: A Time for Reflection

Friday, February 24th, 2017

By Denise Harrison

Strategic Planning Expert
Denise Harrison

In today’s fast paced economy, we often find that executives think that they don’t have the time to reflect on their business.  While quick decision-making is important, taking the time to reflect on the possible choices and looking at long-term implications will set your business on a course to achieve long-term success.

Reflection: What does this mean?

There are three areas that we often find are missing when teams develop a strategic plan:

  1. Discussion of topics for research
  2. Collection of research in a consistent format
  3. Analysis tools that help the team think through what is the best use of the company’s resources

Topics for Research

Many teams have a two to three-day retreat to develop a strategy; this is a good time for team building and gets ideas out on the table.  But if your strategic planning is done during this retreat, we often find that the team does not have all the information to make good decisions.  Our recommendation is a more-robust three-step process:

  1. Situation Analysis

Select the topics that require further research (markets, competition, opportunities, etc.)  Selecting these topics and then developing research allows the team to have better information for decision making when they get to the next step.

  1. Strategy Formulation

Review the information to have a shared base of knowledge and make decision based on this information. Now you can select the strategies and the strategic initiatives that are most likely to position your company for future success. Take the time to develop action plans for your strategic initiatives so that you know what steps need to be undertaken, who is responsible and how much time and money each step will take.

  1. Implementation

Vet the action plans to ensure that accomplishing the steps will achieve the objective and assess whether the company has sufficient talent and financial resources to accomplish the task set out in the action plans.

This three-step process allows your company to reflect on the correct topics to research.  Once the research is completed, the team can reflect on the information gathered to make informed decisions concerning the future direction of the company.

Consistent Format

After you select the topics for research and develop the research, it is important that the information is collected in a consistent format.  Having templates that aid in consistent information development allows for better analysis as your team develops its strategy.  For example, without a consistent format, you will get different information regarding opportunities to be researched and this will make it hard to compare options because the data is inconsistent.

Analysis

Once you have reviewed the research and the team has a shared base of knowledge, it is important to use analytical tools to assess where the best opportunities lie in your business. Tools include the Growth/Share matrix (often associated with Jack Welch) to assess which of your core business should get the most emphasis.  Analytical tools pull out the key variables and help the team better understand the information that has been gathered.

If you would like to learn more about a structured process, with templates for research and analytical tools to help digest the information please call or email me: Denise Harrison, 910-763-5194 or harrison@cssp.com

To learn how to take your strategic planning to the next level, please listen to our webinar:  Why Isn’t My Strategic Plan Working?.

Denise Harrison is a senior consultant for the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  She can be reached at  harrison@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2017 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Jump Starting Good Opportunity Ideas

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Note: This article was originally printed in Compass Points November 2006

By Thomas E. Ambler, Senior Consultant

No one knows better than you that your markets are not what they used to be. They are undergoing an accelerating shift on what and where customers place value and who in the supply chain makes the best profits. Your ”sweet spot” isn’t nearly as sweet as it was not all that long ago. What you considered ”good business” yesterday has lost much of its glitter. As a result, you seek a dynamically changing portfolio of new market opportunities that will assure that you transform today’s Core Business into the best possible Core Business for tomorrow.

You want to pursue these Market Opportunities to the point where you can make a wise go/no go decision. The continual search for new Market Opportunities that are ”good business” consists of two distinct phases as diagrammed in Figure 1 below—the Opportunity Idea Generation Phase and the Opportunity Development Phase.

Both Phases require Opportunity Screening.  Business literature related to innovation offers a number of Opportunity Screening devices, but none are better than the general-purpose Market Opportunity Screen taken from our Simplified Strategic Planning process1. Based on sound new product/market launch research by MSU Professor Frank Bacon, it can be used as the screen for go/no go decisions at all stages in the development of an opportunity.

Once an opportunity begins to take structure in Phase 2, we know pretty well how to deal with it. The bigger challenge lies in Phase 1. How do we generate ideas for ”good business” in the first place?

Generation of ”good” opportunity ideas requires instituting a systematic, common sense process that ferrets out possibilities, a culture that fosters a willingness to fail, a recruiting method that seeks curious, intelligent, open-minded associates and a work ethic that just won’t stop.

Fundamentally, a ”good” opportunity is one that (a) fits with who you want to become as a company, (b) involves an attractive market and (c) takes advantage of a competitive opening.

Figure 2 below, the OPPORTUNITY IDEA GENERATION CHECKLIST, is a very useful checklist of mind joggers and idea starters for Market Opportunities. It incorporates the three ”good” opportunity criteria and is derived primarily from the Market Opportunity Screening Worksheet used in the Simplified Strategic Planning Process.

What other idea starters have you found useful? Share them on the author’s blog site, http://strategy–thehighroad.blogspot.com or email them to ambler@cssp.com.

Jump-start your opportunity brainstorming sessions. Try out some of these idea starters.  If you want even more idea starters, take a look at the references below.  May you generate lots of Good Ideas that lead to Great Execution!

References
1. Robert W. Bradford and J. Peter Duncan with Brian Tarcy, Simplified Strategic Planning: A No-Nonsense Guide For Busy People Who Want Results Fast, (Worcester, MA: Chandler House Press, 2000)

2. T. E. Ambler, ”The Pursuit of Good Business,” Compass Points (October 2003)(available from the Article Archives of www.strategyletter.com)

For information on how to take your strategic planning to the next level, please listen to our webinar: Why Isn’t My Strategic Planning Working?

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.

Tom Ambler is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at ambler@cssp.com

Implementation Advantage – Part 5

Friday, June 24th, 2016

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

Note: This article was originally posted in Compass Points in May 2006.  We are discussing the root causes of poor implementation in a series of posts.  Part 5 covers the fifth root cause of poor implementation.

The plan attempts too much too quickly

This is probably the second most common issue, and, as we said, sometimes difficult to distinguish from issue 3 (The implementation is given insufficient resources). As managers, and as teams, we all seem to have eyes that are much bigger than our stomachs. If five objectives are good, ten must be better, right?

Well, wrong… ten objectives are almost always worse, from an implementation perspective, than five. There are two key reasons for this. First, we psychologically tend to focus more on items when they are limited in quantity. Everyone in your company is likely to know your company’s objectives if you only have four or five. If you have forty-two (we call this a “laundry list”), chances are no one will know most of them, and few will even care. This is not because your employees are bad – rather, it’s because it’s not humanly possible for a group of people to remember and properly prioritize forty-two objectives.

The solution for this issue is simple, but often difficult. Don’t let yourself tackle more objectives than you can handle. If you had trouble with nine last year, try seven this year. In our experience, implementation is optimized somewhere between five and ten objectives, depending on the organization, its culture and resources.

In the past few posts, we have discussed just a few of the most common implementation issues we run into in our work as strategy consultants, assisting companies like your own in strategic planning. It’s not exhaustive, but hopefully, as you get out your plans for this year, you will think about taking some of the steps outlined here to improve your implementation.

Is your company having a hard time implementing your strategic plan?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning to learn how to develop and implement your strategic plan.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Implementation Advantage – Part 4

Friday, June 17th, 2016

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Note: This article was originally posted in Compass Points in May 2006.  We are discussing the root causes of poor implementation in a series of posts.  Part 4 covers the fourth root cause of poor implementation.

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

Managers change their objectives too quickly

In some companies, the main strategy implementation amounts to a kind of corporate “short attention span”.  Many of these companies don’t make much headway in their strategy implementation because they are never heading in one direction long enough for the strategy to pick up steam.

A common symptom of this implementation issue is a company that seems to be perpetually in the middle of dramatic changes. In a company with a sound, consistent strategy, change is occurring, but change tends to flow around the strategy, because the strategy represents a stable, unchanging reality, such as “Starbucks customers like good coffee in a good environment”.

Another symptom is the classic “flavor of the month” syndrome, where the company shifts direction every month or two based upon the viewpoint of the management guru that is currently in favor with the top executives. This is a dangerous problem, as many of today’s management gurus espouse strategic outlooks that are diametrically opposed. For example, “The Experience Economy” espouses a strong, service-centered specialty strategy, while “Nuts!” centers on a focused commodity strategy. You might succeed in shoehorning both of these outlooks into one company, but you are just as likely to end up with a train wreck.

The annual planning process, and strict discipline around that process, is the best antidote we know to “short attention span”. The key here is to make sure you have sound strategic reasons for every change you make in your objectives (and no, “there’s a lot of money to be made” is NOT a sound strategic reason). Likewise, test every change against the wisdom that is inherent in your own strategy. If it fits, great – but when it doesn’t, be very wary of making changes because of small, temporary changes in your marketplace or (worse) your reading list.

In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss other root causes of poor implementation.

Is your company having a hard time implementing your strategic plan?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning to learn how to develop and implement your strategic plan.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Implementation Advantage – Part 3

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Note: This article was originally posted in Compass Points in May 2006.  We are discussing the root causes of poor implementation in a series of posts.  Part 3 covers the third root cause of poor implementation.

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

The implementation lacks follow-through

Sometimes, we see companies that do a decent job of linking their strategies to objectives and action plans, but still lose steam in the implementation part of the planning cycle. A lack of follow-through is one of the most common causes of this “petering out”.

The best indication of poor follow-through is action plans that haven’t been updated since the plan was completed, or perhaps a month or two afterwards. The team set up their implementation plans with good intentions, but then dropped the ball as more urgent activities drove strategy implementation out of their minds. This is common because the very best strategies are never urgent – they are undertaken well ahead of time, because time and money can usually be traded off in strategy implementation. Companies that choose to spend time when they have it – even when the strategic initiative is not urgent – are almost always more efficient.

To remedy the lack of follow-through requires commitment from the highest level of the management team. If the owner, president, or CEO insists upon a serious, routine periodic review of progress on strategy implementation, it is highly unlikely that your company will drop the ball. Practically speaking, this means you must keep to the monthly monitoring process that we outline in the Simplified Strategic Planning seminar and manual.

In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss other root causes of poor implementation.

Is your company having a hard time implementing your strategic plan?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning to learn how to develop and implement your strategic plan.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Implementation Advantage – Part 2

Friday, May 27th, 2016

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Note: This article was originally posted in Compass Points in May 2006.  We are discussing the root causes of poor implementation in a series of posts.  Part 2 covers the second root cause of poor implementation.

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

The implementation lacks follow-through

Sometimes, we see companies that do a decent job of linking their strategies to objectives and action plans, but still lose steam in the implementation part of the planning cycle. A lack of follow-through is one of the most common causes of this “petering out”.

The best indication of poor follow-through is action plans that haven’t been updated since the plan was completed, or perhaps a month or two afterwards. The team set up their implementation plans with good intentions, but then dropped the ball as more urgent activities drove strategy implementation out of their minds. This is common because the very best strategies are never urgent – they are undertaken well ahead of time, because time and money can usually be traded off in strategy implementation. Companies that choose to spend time when they have it – even when the strategic initiative is not urgent – are almost always more efficient.

To remedy the lack of follow-through requires commitment from the highest level of the management team. If the owner, president, or CEO insists upon a serious, routine periodic review of progress on strategy implementation, it is highly unlikely that your company will drop the ball. Practically speaking, this means you must keep to the monthly monitoring process that we outline in the Simplified Strategic Planning seminar and manual.

In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss other root causes of poor implementation.

Is your company having a hard time implementing your strategic plan?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning to learn how to develop and implement your strategic plan.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Implementation Advantage – Part 1

Friday, May 13th, 2016

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Note: This article was originally posted in Compass Points in May 2006.  Part 1 introduces the article and the first root cause of poor implementation.

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

In our strategic planning work, we often work with companies who have tried strategic planning before. Almost inevitably, the companies we meet were disappointed in the results they got before using Simplified Strategic Planning. While some of these disappointments can be attributed to poor strategy or process issues, many – perhaps a third – were disappointed because the plan failed to lead to good implementation of the strategy.

This is a shame, because your management team puts some of its best thinking into your strategic plans. Often, the team is quite excited about the vision portrayed by your strategies. So, how is it that strategic plans are so often poorly implemented?

In our experience, there are five main root causes of poor implementation. Some of these are very closely linked to each other – that is, it’s common to see pairs of this issue operating in tandem. But, ultimately, each of these items, by itself, can torpedo your strategy implementation:

  1. The plan is not linked to implementation
  2. The implementation lacks follow-through
  3. The implementation is given insufficient resources
  4. Managers change their objectives too quickly
  5. The plan attempts too much too quickly

Let’s examine each of these issues, and how to mitigate its negative effects on strategy implementation at your company.

  1. The plan is not linked to implementation

This one is unfortunately, very common. In many cases, the plan’s issues can be traced back to a consultant who wanted to sell each step of the implementation as a separate service, but sometimes, it arises from sheer ignorance of the pitfalls of strategic planning. Many people who attempt strategic planning for the first time assume that once the strategies are written down, the organization has a plan. In a sense, this is true – written strategies are, technically, a plan. Writing your vision down, however, doesn’t guarantee that it will come to pass. If it did, we’d all be living in the utopia of the mission statements most of us labored over in the 1980s and 1990s.

The clearest symptom that a plan isn’t linked to implementation is an absence of clear, measurable objectives and related action plans that define, at a fairly low level, who is going to do what, when, how much it will cost and when it will happen. Sometimes this happens when the process stops after identifying strategies and goals, and sometimes the objectives are set, but no action plans are created (often because there are just too many objectives).

The simplest remedy for this problem, of course, is to follow a process that drives implementation by progressing beyond strategies and goals to measurable objectives and appropriate strategic-level action plans. Yes, this takes more time than the cheap and cheerful one- or two-day retreat that a lot of companies seem to like, but it has such a profound impact on the results generated by the plan that it is time well spent.

In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss other root causes of poor implementation.

Is your company having a hard time implementing your strategic plan?  Let us know how you are dealing with it – or, better yet, attend our amazing, data-driven workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning to learn how to develop and implement your strategic plan.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.
© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution

Communicating Your Strategic Plan With Employees – Part Two

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

By Robert W. Bradford, President & CEO

Strategic Planning Expert Robert W. Bradford

Strategic Planning Expert
Robert W. Bradford

This article was originally posted in Course and Direction May 2004 and this is Part Two of that article.

It’s critically important that employees understand your strategy. Employees who understand your strategy will be able to make better day-to-day decisions that will support your vision. But, while most of us understand this – at least intellectually – we often have difficulty effectively communicating our strategies to people outside of the strategic planning team. This may be especially difficult if you feel that parts of your strategy are sensitive and should not be shared with people outside of your management team. In addition, it may be undesirable to load employees with the task of thoroughly understanding all of your strategic planning documents when many employees only touch on one small operational area. How can we reconcile these difficulties?   In Part One of this article, we covered three ways to better communicate your strategy.

Here are a few additional tips that will help you communicate your strategy more effectively:

  1. Use a few defined categories:You will lose a little detail by having five market segments rather than ten. What you will gain is a framework that your employees can and will remember – which means they are more likely to use it in their day-to-day thinking, as well. Remember, one of the key reasons why you are communicating your strategy with your employees is that they will, in fact, have to support it with their actions. Employees who can’t remember your strategy because it is too complex certainly will have difficulty supporting your strategy.
  2. Say what you don’t do:Don’t give a lengthy list of good intentions. Instead of defining strategy in terms of the obvious, cut to the chase and let your people know the things your company isn’t going to do. It may be harder to come up with, but it will give a much clearer sense of your strategy, faster. Many companies use the “good intention laundry list” to avoid admitting that they haven’t made any real decisions – and their employees know it. It’s a very good idea to let your people know your strategic focus in clear, unambiguous language.
  3. Make the difference between you and your competitors clear:If your strategy doesn’t set you apart from the competition, it won’t work – so make sure your employees understand how they can help put some teeth into your differentiation. This is especially important for your people in sales. Knowing that your company has clear points of distinction from competitors will also help your employees to be proud of who you are.
  4. Limit yourself:Don’t try to list everything you can do or should do – define your strategy in terms of a simple vision with a limited number of objectives. Companies that set themselves more than 10 objectives tend to do far worse on implementation, and in fact many companies should have only five or six objectives. Not only won’t you be in danger of running out of things to do – you are also unlikely to ever hear the complaint that your strategy was too clear.
  5. Make objectives concrete and measurable:Vague objectives may make your management team comfortable by giving them “wiggle room”, but concrete, measurable objectives with deadline dates are better for quickly clarifying the results you are seeking as well as who is accountable. If you have difficulty with this, try to identify a measurable objective that is close to the half-way point. By all means, make your objectives a bit of a stretch, but leave your employees feeling confident that you will, in fact, achieve most – if not all – of the objectives you are communicating with them.

In our experience, companies that share their strategy with their employees get far greater alignment with their vision. This makes implementation much easier, and helps to give your vision a life of its own. If you want to get all of your employees – and not just your planning team – helping to move your vision forward, try communicating your strategy with them this week!

If your company needs to improve its strategies, contact us for great, experienced leadership through the strategy development process.  Our highly acclaimed Simplified Strategic Planning approach has helped many hundreds of organizations improve their strategies and bottom line results with effective, actionable strategies.  Please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

Robert Bradford is President/CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  He can be reached at rbradford@cssp.com.
© Copyright 2015 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution