It’s true that strategic planning and implementation go hand in hand. First you come up with the brilliant ideas and then you deliver on them. But is one easier or more important than the other? Whether you’re in Cincinnati or anywhere else in America, the answer is the same: you need to be great at both strategic planning and implementation.
Every great business starts with a great idea. And then a few years down the road you realize things have changed. You need to reassess, regroup and recommit to a modified path forward. You need to rethink your strategy.
That’s the essence of strategic planning. It’s easy to say. But a lot harder to do well. Which is why so many companies bring in an outside facilitator to assist with the strategic planning process.
An independent strategic planning facilitator knows how to bring out the best ideas. They gain input, moderate discussions and build consensus. Facilitators take notes, amplify quiet voices and let the decision makers focus on thinking. They don’t stop until the group has decided on a path that’s motivational, aspirational and achievable. Then they produce a document that represents the voice of the team in a clear, actionable form.
Once the strategy is set, an entirely new skill set is needed. After all, the idea creator in you is very different from the doer in you.
Implementation goes by many names. Execution. Operations. Delivering on the ideas. Whatever you call it, doing it well isn’t easy.
To achieve the goals, leadership needs to budget resources and allocate manpower. You need the right people. Then you need to get them to work together as a team. And if you have obligations laid out in the strategic plan, you must be clear on exactly what, when and how it will be done.
Daily distractions always get in the way. That’s why discipline and structure are critical to keeping the entire strategic plan on track and moving forward.
Outside implementation consultants can help. They bring an independent perspective. They know how to work one-on-one with managers to get the right things done. This is especially true when the implementation consultant was involved with the strategic planning.
If strategic planning and implementation is on your mind, call Krissi Barr, CEO of Barr Corporate Success. She has facilitated and written over 400 strategic plans. She has worked with businesses in Cincinnati and all over the country. And she’s helped with the implementation at hundreds of those – and other – companies. Put her expertise work for you. And achieve your goals.