Monday, August 3, 2020

“Good Start is Half Done” as a Mantra of Strategic Execution Planning

. The superior execution is the result of the synchronization of all key business factors to create business synergy and build differentiated business competency to make continuous deliveries.

It is the “VUCA” digital era with higher volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, hyper-connectivity and interdependence, traditional linear management style has sort of lost the steam; some have fallen by the wayside entirely. in reality, too many organizations maintain the overly restrictive hierarchy, separate thinking and doing, or take strategic planning and implementation as the separate entities with linear steps. 

Instead of out-of-date disjointed top-down management paradigms, what is needed today is to follow the mantras such as “a good start is half done,” and make a large dash of “freedom to manage.” The key elements which have to be brought in an execution plan are:

A Time Based Implementation Plan: Digital strategic management is both a system and process to deal with dynamic and iterative planning and execution continuum. Preparing a time-based strategy execution plan is crucial because it points the organization in a direction in which it can maximize its value position and set the timelines to reap business results. Strategy execution nowadays is an iterative process that needs to be monitored and controlled (inside vs outside, internal vs external factors). At best, it keeps the management on track and achieves the desired outcome and at worst, it helps in minimizing the pain or loss.

The degree of planning has a positive correlation with the degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. To make smooth implementation, the strategy execution planning needs to get to the level of specifically achievable goals via “5W+1H” navigation, such as "who is doing what, with whom, how are they doing it and when or where does it need to be started and finished by.” “Keep one eye on the operation, the other on the horizon.” Because it is easy to look like you are making progress by focusing on tactical issues, but it’s much harder and requires courage and skills to really tackle what is wrong at the strategic level. Strategic alignment and synchronization can catalyze change and accelerate strategy implementation in the long run.

A well-defined and clear communication protocol: Another keynote, particularly in accomplishing strategic effects throughout the company, is to define a clear communication protocol and develop an internal and external communication plan. Because miscommunication enlarges gaps and creates bottlenecks in strategy execution. A well-defined communication protocol expands the ability of management at every level of the organization to follow common communication principles, make timely and accurate decisions, as well as motivates employees to grow and expand their roles within the organization.

Running a modern business is not just about crunching numbers, business leaders' commitment must be clearly and completely communicated for engagement of all stakeholders with the clarity of the strategic goals frequently. Poor communication prevents the objectives and supporting goals from being “known.” Adaptation and implementation are faster if made with the full involvement of people by leveraging an effective communication framework, efficient communication platforms, channels, tools, and feedback mechanism

Clearly defined roles and actions for people from the organization, who would be part of it: Strategic workforce planning and management today are far more than just putting a “strategic” label on the term. It requires collaboration among HR staff, managers & executives, applying information analytics, and other technology-enabled solutions to integrate disparate workforce planning sources and gain a comprehensive knowledge of the organization's collective talent requirement, skill gaps, and people insight for smooth strategy execution.

In practice, effective workforce management focuses on attraction, engagement, and performance alignment, defining roles and actions for people to be part of strategy execution. You have to look at it holistically be it as a department or ultimately at the organizational level. Identify the root cause of low performance and competency gaps, and give practical guidance for improving and ordering talent relevant data and using it in creative ways to gain predictive insight and competitive advantage to achieve strategic business results.

KPIs of the implementation plan: Selecting the right set of KPIs that senior management is interested in is a crucial step in managing execution implementation in a measurable way. You adopt a strategy to achieve the business outcome, and you define KPIs to monitor performance progress, especially at the strategic level. The problem with many KPIs is that they are created and applied at a subordinate level without taking into consideration the possible implications for the organization as a whole. It too often leads to suboptimal decisions that are detrimental to the effectiveness of strategy execution.

The more effective way to track the achievement of strategic goals is to cascade those well-defined KPIs down throughout the organization with the use of operational Performance Indicators. The scorecard is another effective tool that contains a good mix of the outcome measure of long-term strategic value along with performance drivers to track the operational progress in the short term. It enables feedback & learning, as well as adjusting the strategy accordingly. So business executives can become more confident and accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path, and get into actions in a proactive way.

Flexibility in the implementation plan helps to make timely adjustments to constantly changing circumstances: Strategy execution plans are living documents that require ongoing monitoring and adjustments when needed to address unforeseen changes in the marketplace. The digital management approaches are adaptive and flexible to inspire and motivate, help people navigate through difficult changes, and achieve their goals, deliberately make close alignment among the company’s strategic direction.

Being flexible also means to take alternatives to do things, bending some rules to encourage creativity. Effective strategic planning- implementation continuum serves as a framework that is a living and breathing concept. When certain factors of influence in the business environment (macro- or microeconomic) determine an adaptation of the strategy and, leaders must actively interact at all levels to adapt, adjust, and develop it to meet company growth, and drive strategy execution successes.

A good start is half done. The enterprises today need to become more open and responsive, and digital strategy management is multidimensional. There are different kinds of rationality that apply to different dimensions of corporate management. The superior execution is the result of the synchronization of all key business factors to create business synergy and build differentiated business competency to make continuous deliveries.


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