You have a strategic plan. Does it sit in many drawers in offices? Does it not have the traction you thought it would when you led its creation?
You are not the first, or last, organization that’s had a strategic plan not fully embraced and executed. That doesn’t mean the plan is horrible or can’t be revived. Usually, there are simple reasons why the plan hasn’t gained the necessary traction.
If the plan is connected with your Mission and Vision, is sound in it’s construction and areas of focus, and is deemed still viable and worth re-engaging, there’s a path to success you can follow.
The first thing you, as a leader, need to NOT do is to lay blame or find people and groups to beat down for not executing on the plan. You will only exacerbate the issues you have and will not find your way out of your alignment issues if you take such a course, . Lay a foundation of looking forward and engaging your leadership and employees in the effort to make your strategic plan live and breathe.
Be prepared to get feedback that the plan lacks in certain areas. Such gaps could be a core reason why the plan isn’t where you’d like it to be. Such feedback is a good thing. Your people care enough and feel comfortable enough to speak up. The objective of this step is to prop up the plan and build momentum for it. Don’t let ego get in the way of that goal.
We see from our assessments that there are large drops in alignment between executive leadership and the next leadership layer. Understanding the dynamics of what is needed at that level and then equipping your executive team to construct a path to move the plan forward will have positive impact, not only with the plan but with other aspects of how things get done.
As you gather feedback about the plan from leadership, key influencers and employees on the front lines, you will start seeing ways you can reinvigorate your strategic plan and propel forward. At this point, you are at a similar point as when it was initially launched. Look at that process differently than how you did it before.
None of the items mentioned here about how to align your organization is rocket science. We’ve had clients who’ve done a marvelous job managing and driving efforts to align to strategic plans, mission and vision. The resources and talent are usually within an organization to get this done. However, we’ve seen a lot of organizations try to do this on their own and stumble along. Employees get caught up with other ‘more important’ things and lose their momentum, much like a lot of us with exercise and losing weight.
What is more important than making certain your mission, vision and strategic plan live and breath vitally? Look at it through that lens and you may prioritize things differently. Everything that is done in your organization should be tied to those 3 criteria.
Just like exercising, aligning an organization to its mission, vision and strategic plan takes an intentionality and consistency of effort to make change take hold.
Adjusting hearts and minds around mission, vision or strategic plan takes a different perspective. It takes a desire and commitment to not change everything you do, but to modify how you interact with your employees and how you serve them. When the larger group buys in, and are aligned, organizations become truly effective. The results are noticeable, measurable and sustainable. Plus, it’s a lot more fun.
Are you ready to get your plan back on track?