2005 draws to a close many professionals are preparing or analyzing their
goals and objectives for the coming year.
too often these operational goals fall short for one simple reason. They
fail to compliment the organizations strategic plan. In spite of this, it is
possible to turn operational goals and plans into individual actions,
necessary to realize the goals of the organizations strategic plan. But
it’s not easy. Most companies repeatedly fail to motivate their people to
work together to achieve the corporate objectives. The majority of companies
know their business and the strategies required for success. However too
often they struggle to translate the strategy into the action plans that
will enable their strategy to be a success.
most companies have a strategic plan, between 70 and 90% fail to execute
them. A recent Fortune magazine study concluded that the majority of
businesses, who fail, do so not because of bad strategy but because of poor
execution. In a survey of 1000 public companies, 80% of the directors
surveyed reported they felt they had the proper strategy but only 14%
thought that they were implementing strategy well enough and only 1 in 3
companies, in their own assessment, were achieving strategic success. The
message seems clear that in order to achieve strategic success you have to
effectively promote the strategic plan to those responsible for carrying out
the plan, subordinates.
brings us to the three essential elements in meeting the organizations
LEADERSHIP – is achieving
sustained performance through personal growth and planning that recognizes
the human dynamic. Leadership is required to not only compete effectively
but also grow the business. Every employee needs to be aware of what the
organizations strategy is and their role, the importance of their job, in
achieving the strategic plan.
TURNING STRATEGY INTO
ACTION – a phased approach,
linking identified performance factors with strategic initiatives and
projects designed to develop and optimize departmental and individual
activities. The real need here is to creatively bring the strategy to life
by creating operational goals and objectives that are designed to not only
meet the strategic plan but also compliment all other department’s goals
and objectives as well. Once this is accomplished every unit in the
organization is working together to achieve the success of the organization.
To accomplish this it is necessary to identify the three important
ingredients to the organizational plan and the questions that have to be
What does the strategic
plan intend to accomplish?
What does our
organizational plan have to contain in order to accomplish the company’s
What do we need to
create, refine & accomplish to meet the company objective?
When will we know we
have achieved success and how will it be measured?
How will projects be led
Who will be responsible
for each task?
Are individual work
What is the review
these processes can provide an outline of how to prepare departmental goals
for the purpose of assisting the organization to meet the strategic goals.
Involving the right people is essential to making the correct decisions not
only on priorities but also creating action plans that are clear and
attainable. The objective is for everyone in the departmental unit to
understand company strategy and specifically know that what they are doing
is contributing to the company strategic plan.
MANAGEMENT – involves the
building of organizational processes and capabilities necessary to achieve
performance through people delivering results. Too often great plans remain
just that, “plans”. Typically, the energy and enthusiasm that goes into
developing a great plan fades as day-to-day operational issues get in the
way. Most organizations and its’ people respond to fire-fighting and
reactive task scheduling, instead of planning proactively to make the
strategic plan a success. It’s one of the reasons that most American
companies re-address their five year plan an average of every six-months if
not more frequently.
make strategic planning meaningful and not the punch line of the company
joke, everyone in the organization has to be engaged and encouraged to take
action, which means:
the strategic intent and action plans to every employee;
Using project management
principles to make necessary changes from previous years;
targets and work projects designed to meet the strategic priorities;
progress and assessing and providing feedback about performance.
most commonly overlooked element in achieving the company’s objectives is
commonly referred to as “emotional contracting” or the “psychological
contract”. This is the crucial link between the organizations intent and
the motivations, values and aspirations of its’ employees.
is vital that:
Strategy is communicated
Performance is measured
in real time;
Success, regardless of
significance, is acknowledged immediately.
the employee does not have the desire, motivation or encouragement to meet
the company’s’ objectives, regardless of their position, then the
company will not succeed. A well worn story illustrates this point:
group of auditors from the General Accounting Office were visiting the NASA
space facility in Houston at a time when budget cuts were being considered.
One of the auditors asked a man cleaning the floor “so what are you doing
here?” The man answered, “I’m here putting a man on the Moon!”
closely do you and your subordinates identify and associate the job you
perform with the company’s organizational purpose? Do you and your
subordinates know what the company’s aims are, and if so do you and they
see and agree with how you/they fit into the overall scheme? Sadly, in many
organizations the vast majority of staff does not understand or know what
the corporate aims are, let alone see themselves as an integral part of the
effort. Strategic goals will not be achieved unless every employee is an
enthusiastic part of the effort. All very easy to say; another thing to
entirely make happen. The “Man on the Moon” statement is an example of
the process necessary to turn any strategy into action, whether a team, a
department or a corporation. Every single employee must know what they are
doing, why they are doing it, and above all, must be fully committed to
doing everything necessary for the company to meets its strategic plan.
challenge of every department head is to turn theory into practice; make
something happen; and translate strategic plans into real business results.
This will be accomplished only when there is synergy between strategic and
I wish you well.
The information provided above is for
educational purposes only and not provided as legal advice. Legal advice
should be obtained from a licensed attorney in good standing with the Bar
Association and preferably Board Certified in either Creditor Rights or