A strategy is simply intention. It doesn’t become real until it’s paired with structure and action.
- Sponsorship. If it’s important enough to be a strategy, then someone on the executive team needs to own it and be accountable.
- A Champion. The strategy needs someone who is responsible for overseeing its management and execution. That’s the champion.
- Milestones & Timelines. You don’t want to find out at the 11th hour that the strategy is off-track. That’s why it’s important to have 5-8 high-level, time-linked milestones that indicate if sufficient progress is being made.
- Resources. Identify the required financial, material and people resources at the front end of the strategy. Don’t be surprised if you discover you need to secure additional resources or stretch timelines with existing resources.
- Progress Tracking. The strategy team should meet no less than monthly to review commitments, track progress and set new commitments. It builds a team culture of expectations, report-out and accountability.
- Recalibration. Reality changes. So the plan may need to change. Set a dedicated semi-annual meeting to review new information, test your original assumptions, and discuss implications for the strategy. Make changes as required.
Many so-called strategies never translate into results. Following these six steps will maximize your chances.