It’s A Kegs’n Eggs Strategy – Part II
Painting The Strategic River Green
Yesterday’s part of the first part – Kegs’n Eggs – gave us a peek into Strategic Planning development and execution. Let’s quickly review what the rub is: Some of you have a strategy, but struggle with getting it implemented. Some of you struggle with getting consensus or you can’t agree on what the strategy should be. Some of you find the entire process tedious and invasive having some outsider come in with generic hooey you already know. Some of you have the forethought to include the team or the organization as a development tool.
Once we wrap our arms around the Big Picture questions, there are also underlying themes inside these discussions, such as – resource utilization, operational effectiveness and efficiencies, discovering opportunities, positioning and the effects of risk – all play a role in the process. Priorities and initiatives will bubble up to the surface during these discussions. The challenges occur with filtering what’s critical, vital and/or necessary to move your organization forward to the expected outcome. You can’t, and absolutely shouldn’t attempt to do all or even some of them.
There’s only so many hours in the day and since implementation is THE critical component to ensuring success of the Plan means something’s got to give.
One critical success factor many senior management teams fail to fully embrace is the plan is implemented by the employees, the peoples who, at the very least, are the initial touch point with the outside world – the ones who make decisions daily at the lowest practical level. At The Ritz-Carlton, all employees are involved in the annual creation of the strategic plan. In order to further ensure the plan is supported, the rollout of the strategic plan includes a “Roadmap to Performance Excellence.” This “Roadmap” gives an overview of the process, lists each priority and shares three significant elements:
- A definition of each element of the plan
- A change rationale that explains why or why not a change was made
- A description of how to live each element of the plan
The lowest paid sometimes hardest working give their all, because it’s the right thing to do, or for some, it’s just a job – that’s the employee population today. However, without employee buy-in, without their input in crafting the living will, you might as well stop wasting your time as it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, let alone engage and mobilize your organization to move forward at any speed.
To take a detour for a moment, let’s take a look at the golf swing. In order for the shot to go to its intended target, the feet, knees, hips, shoulders and eyes all have to be pointed in the same direction. In order for your organization to execute “the shot,” finance, operations, sales, marketing, service, R&D, quality, HR, etc. all have to be in alignment. Let’s assume for a moment, your team has settled on 3 Priority One Initiatives.
What are you going to do to get your organization aligned to support the plan?
How Do We Live The Plan?
Everything in your business needs to be assessed in terms of, “does this support the plan?” Every supporting element needs to be in alignment with the plan which means you have to be willing to take “stuff” off of everyone’s plate. If it doesn’t support, influence and impact the Strategic Plan, then it’s of no value and needs to be removed. As a leader, you need to be supportive and content with that!
Returning to the Ritz-Carlton for a moment, their “Roadmap” also advises staff on how to live the plan. It’s not only important for everyone to understand their individual role and goal but how to get there – the execution steps to the strategic plan, thus how one becomes motivated and an owner to their success daily and that of the property organization wide. When employees are given clear directions on how to execute the strategic plan, they are much more likely to actively participate and support the plan.
Whether you’re looking to set or improve your strategic direction, improve the effectiveness of communicating strategic direction, explore in-depth how to communicate the plan with influence and impact, marshal resources to engage the employees, and implementing challenging strategies, then working together may make sense to you and for your company’s success. Please share your thoughts on strategy and culture in the comments below. For more articles and information about our programs, please visit our website, and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or call +1-205-482-2177 to discuss Strategy and Culture.