Five tips for strategy execution and follow-up – here is where to start

Pyramidi kuvituskuva

Paavo Kytölä

1. Describe what you are planning to do

Write down your strategic plan in one place. Break down your plan’s priorities (themes/ top projects) into smaller sections. The most common priorities are e.g. goals related to revenues, development of personnel, or sustainable development. Write under each theme the organisations’ top-level goals toward which the organisation is moving. 

Now you have put together the guidelines for strategy execution. 

Next, divide the plan for your organisation’s subunits (HR, ICT) and if needed to team-level. Determine who will take the responsibilities for the actions related to reaching the goals. Plan a schedule and set intermediate goals. This way, strategic planning becomes more concrete and directs everyone’s work towards a common goal.

2. Regular routines and schedules

Organisations are accustomed to checking their numbers
at least once a month. The same cycle is good for execution follow-up. This
makes the causalities between finances, years of employment, and budgets easy to
track. However, in unusual circumstances, a month can be a long time. If it is
deemed necessary, the cycle can and should be shortened to redirect the strategy.

Agree at least upon the following: how often is the progress measured, who will be attending the meetings (enable also online participation), in what order the subjects are to be gone over, and how the follow-up is executed in the subunits (e.g. sales monthly meetings).

3. Make your message clear

You want to keep your strategy clear and concise. Test what your employees have to say about the phrasing of your organisation’s strategy, if they find it confusing, it is best to think it over. If you have a communications department, their help can be invaluable. Make sure you all use the same terminology around strategy.

Make sure the strategy’s skeletal outline and information on progress are accessible to all, at all times and places. Transparent goals commit the employees to push towards them together. Also, create common rules and routines for updating execution. Make sure that you speak the same language.

4. ‘Measure what matters’

Strategy execution is not a competition between departments and employees – its purpose is to measure the execution of strategic plans. We think that the goals should be set before the measurements.  

The set goals give ideas to what the indicators should be – what is the status we are aiming for? How is the execution best reported, by percentages, euros, simple yes/no, or is the management content with the knowledge that the project is ‘on schedule’? When the indicators are set, all is needed are actions behind the measurements. Well planned is half done.

5. Right rewards at the right time

Celebrate together smaller and bigger achievements along the strategy process. If your organisation uses performance-based bonuses or other bonuses, check that they are in line with the organisation’s strategic goals. Financial incentives often motivate people the most.

Using follow-up you can make career paths more transparent, e.g. when we succeed in matter x on

sector y new recruitment will be made. 

Not all rewards need to be financial. Plan a recreational activity with the personnel, go see a play or arrange a shared sports activity when you reach a shared goal.

Get started with your strategy and execution follow-up today! Try LATO now

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