The New 12-Point Checklist To Address Weak Strategy Execution [DOWNLOAD]

Whether you’re the owner of a small family manufacturing business, a CEO of a multi-billion dollar global conglomerate, or the team leader of the 5-person department that makes the home-office hum, this checklist is for you.

If you missed it, last week’s article introduced the idea of a simple, back-to-basics formula that spotlights the two core components that have the greatest impact on your ability to execute your strategy and deliver results.

SAME PEOPLE  +  SAME PROCESS  =  SAME RESULTS

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This week, we unpack both components – people and process – in more detail and provide you a handy checklist (download) of questions you can use as a guide to make the right changes that will positively impact your results.

PEOPLE

Let’s start with people.  When it comes to the people side of the equation, the objective is to evaluate and align your overall approach to people in an effort to support your strategy or area of your organization that’s underperforming.  ‘Changing your approach’ does not necessarily mean that you need to ‘clean house’ or replace current talent abruptly.  What it does mean is that you’re active in determining what you need to do to prepare and position your people to execute the strategy.

Under the people umbrella, there are three major areas that need alignment to strategy. Our objective is to calibrate these dimensions in alignment with where you want to go, as opposed to where you are.

  • Overall Organizational Structure  (how you organize your people to execute the strategy)
  • Overall Talent Makeup and Cultural Fit
  • Overall Leadership Development

Below is a checklist of six questions that will help you self-assess the people side of the equation (each question is written in such a way where it can be reflected on in an individual or team setting):

  1. Does our organizational structure alleviate or add unnecessary friction or barriers to our people executing effectively?
  2. Is our structure (how we organize our employees) trapping our capacity to achieve more?  Is our investment in talent in alignment-with or out of balance against our strategic ambitions?
  3. When was the last time we did a complete talent review of our entire team or organization?  As our business has grown in it’s life cycle, have we evaluated if we have the right talent and skills in critical roles?
  4. What are the values, mindset and attitudinal disposition of the people in key roles? Do their hearts, minds and drive align with the vision for the organization?
  5. Do we have a shortage of leadership?  Are our current leaders in the organization encouraged and accountable to develop new ones?
  6. Are there an excess of ‘linchpins’ or knowledge workers in the organization?  Are we developing talent and systems in such a way where we don’t need to rely too heavily on one or even, a few individuals to drive our business?

PROCESS

What exactly is process?  Wikipedia defines process as an interrelated set of activities that interact to achieve a result.  The goals you establish in your strategic plan are supported by people throughout your organization doing things (as defined through specific behaviors and activities) to achieve a desired end point.  How you identify, activate, and measure those activities is critically important to overall execution, as you need to be continuously sharpening activities until they drive the results you desire.

Under the people umbrella, there are three major areas that need alignment to strategy.  Our objective is to calibrate these dimensions in alignment with where you want to go, as opposed to where you are.

  • Identify and Activate Specific Activities and Behaviors
  • Overall System to Measure, Coach, Develop and Reward (against activities and behaviors)
  • Operational Rhythm Of Business

Similarly to above, what follows is a checklist of six questions that will help you self-assess the process side of the equation in your business or area of underperformance:

  1. Have we defined the precise activities (and the behaviors that support those activities) required to meet certain objectives in your strategic plan?  Have we communicated clearly how these activities and behaviors will allow us to accomplish our strategic objectives?
  2. Does each person know which activities and behaviors they are accountable to and perhaps more importantly, why?
  3. Do we have a system in place to measure the precise activities needed to deliver the strategy?
  4. Does our performance management process align coaching, training and development to the right behaviors and activities?
  5. Are we rewarding and incentivizing against the right activities and behaviors that will drive the results we desire?
  6. Do we have a system in place, as an organization, to regularly review, calibrate and refine activities to deliver the right results?

SUMMARY THOUGHTS

If you haven’t, be sure to download the complete checklist right here.

Calibrating your approach to people and process with your strategy is at the heart of strong execution.  Failure to get these vital components right will undoubtedly lead to underperformance.

On the initial pass, how many of the questions can you answer with an affirmative?  In which areas do you have concerns?

Did any of the questions jump off the page for you as an topic or issue that’s been on your radar and needs addressing sooner rather than later?

Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for you to identify three to five areas of priority for your organization in 2016.  Ultimately, you’ll be uncovering opportunities for change that will lead to better execution.

And that’s exactly what it takes to remove SAME from the equation.

 

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