Five Barriers To Making Strategy A Reality - September 25, 2015
The research has been conducted. The work is complete. After a hefty budget spend and months of working with a third-party agency, you have the documented strategy to move your business forward. Well … that step may not be so easy. Often companies have developed great strategy, but they don't know where to start in order to get it implemented. What's holding you back? Promotional Consultant Today shares these five barriers that keep organizations from implementing the strategic direction they have established.
Barrier 1: Strategy that is too lofty
Many times, the strategic direction sounds good on paper but it is way too lofty and not pragmatic. It is essential to grasp that a direction that is not realistic and practical will not move people to action. Vision is a compelling picture of a future state that inspires people to perform. Strategic direction needs to be wrapped into that vision so that it gets off of the paper. Make sure your strategy is clear, focused and memorable. It is the direction, not the intention, that determines your organization's ultimate destiny.
Barrier 2: Overly focused on immediacy
Because of the incredibly fast pace of business in today's world, it is easy to get preoccupied with the immediate and urgent things that are in front of us and lose sight of our main outcomes and objectives. The immediacy of the next report or the next meeting keeps leaders from making sure that they pull back and stay focused on where they want to go.
Barrier 3: Doing what we like to do
The third thing that keeps us from getting a new direction implemented is getting wrapped up in doing the things we like to do instead of the things the strategic direction is calling for. Think of it this way: If the strategic direction could talk, what would it be asking us to do today? The answer to this question will determine decisions, establish proper priorities and clarify the next appropriate step to take.
Barrier 4: Lack of congruency at the top and commitment from the middle
It is important to have buy-in from the middle. Many have maintained that leadership starts at the top because what is at the top filters down. There is certainly truth to this, but if there is not buy-in at the middle level of leadership, the implementation could come to a halt. When there is a commitment at the middle level with congruency from the top, the lower level of leadership will help catapult strategy into success.
Barrier 5: Not reviewed often enough
The last thing that prevents implementation is that we simply don't consistently revisit our strategy. We lose our focus. We don't keep it in front of us and, consequently, operate in a dense fog. Organizations and people move towards what they are focused on. If we don't keep that strategic direction in front of us, we will lose our focus and be unable to efficiently and effectively experience implementation.
Is it time to revisit your business strategy?
Source: David Waits is known globally as a thought leader in leadership development and strategy implementation. As a highly sought after consultant, speaker and author, he has worked with tens of thousands of people in all 50 states, and internationally in Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa. His clients are active CEOs, general managers, senior executives, and entrepreneurs who are committed to consistent growth.