Strategic planning is a process not an event. A key element in the process is the engagement of all levels of staff throughout the organization. Staff engagement generates additional input and helps build their commitment to the end plan. It is essential to involve employees in the planning of strategy and direction for the organization.

It has been my experience that most organizations spend very little time doing any real strategic thinking before they begin planning… then spend a lot of time, energy and money on an elaborate “planning retreat” that focuses heavily on process… and then walk away from the planning retreat and simply expect that they can pass out the plan and it will be implemented by their people.

A strategic plan is NOT complete until you have also written a clear, specific, measurable and detailed “Strategic Execution Plan.”

After spending weeks or even months working on a new strategic plan for your business, you’ve finally penned out a solid plan – or have you? Managers and business leaders are planners by nature – their job is to direct the company and guide it into the future. Too frequently, that leads to them second-guessing their new strategies and focusing on the most intricate, and unimportant, details. In turn, planning continues and execution is delayed.

If you’re ready to execute your new business strategy, here are some tips to make ensure it’s a success:

Take Action

For many managers, the most difficult step in executing a new business strategy is simply taking action. It’s easy to sit back, by yourself or with other organizational management, and hash out a plan for your business. Actually getting that plan in motion is another story. The execution of your new strategy is going to mean running into problems from time-to-time – there is no way you can plan for everything. Instead of wasting your time obsessing over and trying to perfect your plan, take action and get the process started.

Share the Plan

In most companies, only the top leadership is involved in strategic planning. Frequently, however, these managers don’t always have all of the information they need. To avoid making decisions based on a partial understanding of the current business environment, share the plan with your employees and ask for their input. Oftentimes those on the front lines are able to provide insight that senior management has overlooked or is unfamiliar with. By sharing your plan with your staff, you’re also getting them prepared for the new changes about to take place in your business.

Get Your Team Motivated

When you include your team in the strategic planning process, you’re also helping to get them motivated. Having your employees excited for a change in strategy is crucial to its success. Although the majority of the planning sits with your business’ leaders, the majority of the implementation lies with your team. It’s natural for humans to resist change, but by valuing their input and focusing on the benefits for them, getting your staff on board with the new plan can make things flow much more smoothly. It will also make the execution of the strategy more successful.

Stay Committed

While creating your new strategic plan can be a long, drawn-out process, putting it into action is even more so. It’s not uncommon for managers to lose focus on the plan once its executed, often feeling like the responsibilities are now with the team members and lower-level management. This mindset is a recipe for disaster.

Successful implementation means staying committed to the changes you decided on for your business. While your employees will be the ones making the biggest strides towards achieving the newly set goals, it is management’s responsibility to ensure the team stays on track. Not just by regularly measuring their results, but also by providing the education, training and support they need along the way – throughout the entire process.

Executing your new business strategy doesn’t have to be difficult, but most often just setting the plan in motion is the challenging part. By taking the initiative to get the ball rolling, getting feedback from your team, motivating your employees to be vested in the plan’s success, and following up throughout the process, you can stay current on progress and help direct the successful implementation of your new strategic plan.

Author's Bio: 

Known for combining innovative, no-fluff strategies with endless compassion, Tracey's talks resonate deeply with her audiences. Whether speaking about business, life, or retirement, Tracey draws from her more than 17 years in financial industry operations, marketing, training, and Human Resources, as well as her experience as a personal and professional coach, to connect with listeners on many levels.
Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward