There are potentially a few reasons. But one could be that nobody really understood how to make the strategic direction happen. As in concretely, on a daily basis.
Team members were left to their own device not knowing the who, the what, the how and most importantly the WHY. As a result, they all went back to what they know and what keeps the wheels turning.
If you type strategy on Google you will get thousands of responses, it's hard to know what's right. And also, does a theoretical definition help you make sense of what strategy means to you, your team, your organisation and how to apply it?
How about we start by flipping the question on its head and think about what strategy isn’t. Surely, we all have examples of this that come to mind.
To only list a few, strategy is not:
- An off-site strategy session with a flashy PowerPoint (even if a good presentation doesn't hurt)
- A cost-based only approach limiting the long-term investments and ROI potentials
- A list of goals that is not linked to underlying actions
- A vision statement not followed by concrete measures
At its core, strategy is essentially problem-solving. To be able to relate to it your team needs to be able to:
- Analyse their options to solve the problems they are facing
- Know the outcomes each option will provide and what matters most
- Consider the timeframe and costs of each solution to determine what’s acceptable
- Be aware of the risks of not taking action
- And last but not least, make a decision and roll it out with an implementation plan
No matter how much knowledge we have, executing a plan is always the hardest part: it is a case-by-case situation that has to be tailored to the company’s culture, goals and environment. But it is also the most essential piece of it all because, without actions, strategy is just a big fancy word. Your greatest opportunity as a business leader is to not only plan strategy, but get everyone on board and implement it.
Are you eager to make strategy happen within your team and your organization? We are always happy to help and you can reach out to us directly at [email protected]
You can also check out our Strategic Finance Leader Program. We are talking framework, process, day-to-day execution of strategy, not just big ideas. We are running our last intake in October so don’t miss out.