Let’s face it, executing business strategy is a real pain to sustain. Even from day to day, let alone from month to month and quarter to quarter.
For starters, executing strategy takes a solid process and a lot of professional discipline. Then, strategy is dependent on commitment to that strategy: yours, your team’s and your workforce’s.
And, from your own professional experience, you may be far more committed to executing a particular strategy than anyone else on your team is. Or, your department is. At that point, execution of strategy usually hits some sort of roadblock.
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Here are the top two skills I put into play, when it comes to coaching individuals, teams and organizations on executing business strategy.
First Skill: Stop boiling the Strategy Ocean.
The work strategy is a loaded word, isn’t it? When people talk about “We have a new strategic initiative” the first thought everyone tends to have is: “Just how big a Change – for me – is involved?”
If your organization, your department or your team is responsible for executing a new strategy, why introduce the concept the same way it’s been done before? Especially if prior strategy was not executed that well, or, alternatively, was not sustainable.
To avoid “Here we go again” workplace mindset, demystify that strategy. Instead, consider dividing that strategy up into bite-sized, executable chunks.
Second Skill: Figure out your own Accountability.
The effective and sustainable execution of strategy involves lots of helping hands. However, to get started, people tend to assume that there is someone in charge, who knows the roles that everyone else is supposed to play. Are you making a business mis-assumption?
Determining your own accountability in executing strategy is your own responsibility. It just could be that your own role is bigger – or less than – what you assume. And instead of waiting for someone to define your role and responsibilities, think things through for yourself. Then, test out your assumptions in dialogue with your team, department and management. Did anyone overlook something or someone?
Ultimately, executing business strategy is a sandbox for everyone to develop their leadership skill sets.
The process – the journey – becomes far more critical than the outcome. Why? Because if you and your team rush your throughput, just to get a strategic project off your plate, you may introduce an untenable amount of variability. And that variability can compromise the final, strategic outcome.
As a result, executing strategy can be a wonderful opportunity, instead of an unpleasant or intolerable burden. That opportunity allows everyone to “see” how “what they do” fits into “what everyone else does” in the organization. At every bite-size chunk of strategy along the way. And every accountability checkpoint, too.
How good are you when it comes to executing strategy? Your team? Your organization? Move one millimeter beyond your collective comfort level, towards leadership. Because, after all, that is what executing strategy is all about.
Start moving one millimeter beyond your current professional leadership comfort level, today.
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Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™, is an innovative speaker, strategist, and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. Babette’s playbook of collaboration tools, Do YOU Mean Business?, is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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