Implementing Strategy

Monday 30 March 2020

The development of organisational strategy is a complex and demanding process, and leaders who have devoted time, effort and resources to the selection of a strategy they believe will secure the ongoing success of their company may feel they have reason to be confident about the future.
Nonetheless, their chosen strategy stands little chance of success unless it is acted on. Effective implementation is critical to the success of organisational strategy.

If strategy is to be more than an expression of hopes and aspirations for the future, the practical implications for organisational operations and activities must be thought through and put into practice. Strategy implementation requires organisations to put initiatives in place which are focussed and realisable. A strategic focus should encourage an organisation to develop disciplined processes for feeding strategic initiatives across the organisation in a meaningful, realistic and achievable way.

The implementation or execution of strategy, however, is often neglected and its results are frequently unpredictable. Problems encountered with the implementation of strategy often lie not with any flaws in the strategy itself, but rather in a failure to implement it effectively. Such failures can mean that strategic initiatives are only partially successful and lead to frustration as the hoped for strategic benefits are not realised. Ultimately, they can result in the decline or even, failure of the business as a whole.

Translating strategy aims into actionable processes in an ordered fashion is, however, not easy. The setting of priorities and the development of plans may present organisations with formidable management challenges. The effective execution of strategy can be impeded by many and varied difficulties including; weak or inconsistent senior-level commitment, a lack of support from managers and employees, cross-departmental conflicts, ambiguity in roles and responsibilities or a lack of accountability.

Strategy Implementation Definition

Strategy implementation is the process by which an organisation translates its chosen strategy into action plans and activities, which will steer the organisation in the direction set out in the strategy and enable the organisation to achieve its strategic objectives.

Strategy Implementation Techniques and Best Practices

Techniques below aim to help managers to understand the complexities of strategy implementation and to provide guidance on the factors which will help organisations to achieve optimal, rather than maximal implementation of strategy.

1. Ensure that plans are aligned with organisational mission, vision and values
2. Build an effective leadership team
3. Create an implementation plan
4. Allocate budgetary resources
5. Assign objectives and responsibilities
6. Align structures and processes
7. Align people
8. Communicate the strategy
9. Review and report on progress
10. Make strategic adjustments as necessary
11. Develop an organisational culture that supports the strategy

For detailed explanation of each step and to find out more about implementing strategy, view the guide below.