Correct approach to implementation will drive new strategy
How many times have you seen or experienced (first hand) the following scenario:
A company announces a new strategy with much fanfare and excitement and one year later, despite all the “work” that goes into it, it seems to be failing miserably. The most critical question to ask is: was the new strategy implemented fully, with the new attitude and approach that was recommended, or was the implementation done with the same old, same old approach that got the company into their present situation? More often than not, companies will try to save money on the implementation and will allocate existing resources, existing thinking, mindsets and attitudes to undertake the implementation. The fresh thinking that was a cornerstone on developing the strategy has been jettisoned, and the company takes the easy way out by implementing it themselves, without ensuring a changed attitude or skill sets that will make the outcome truly new and different. What they don’t realize is that the correct approach to implementation will drive new strategy.
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke
Correct implementation will drive new strategy and create change. Don’t fight it. Embrace it and don’t try to save money by doing it all on your own.
During most strategy update periods of a company’s life cycle, more of the same is a deadly existence if current reality is not working for you. If what you have been doing up till now is not delivering you the success you desire, then the only option is to change. Don’t just change the thinking and the strategy. Change the implementation and the people that have been doing the implementing. More of the same will not create a new reality.
Change for many people is scarier than a failure or a status quo. In many respects at least it is more certain – even if it is a certain failure. So, as a leader, you have to grow and lead, and change is one aspect of personal growth. If you reject the notion of change, then you will never grow and you will never change your current reality. And if your current reality is not satisfactory, then your choices become terribly limited. Continue with current reality, or create a new and changed reality.
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. Jack Welch
You cannot expect things to change in your business if you can’t lead that change. And the only way to lead it is to ensure that you are the first person to change. People will not follow you in a changed environment until they see real tangible change coming from you. Not talk – but action!
What it takes to win in business
If conservative and comfortable is the state where you have been, and it is not delivering your desired success, then it is not a winning approach. When someone shows you the way, don’t change the route back to your comfort zone because you will simply get back to what makes you comfortable, and that will lead you back into the failed state.
Change and dramatic improvement only comes with a degree of discomfort – otherwise you will already have been there on your own.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein
Insanity may not always be the correct term to define a comfort zone, but you get my point. Business is not getting any easier, and making decisions that change your outcomes is a monumental task – a task that requires true leadership. And it takes time. One of my clients recently explained that it had taken him a year and a half to start to see the light that the new strategy was designed to provide. When asked what the outcome would have been had he not embarked on the new strategy, his answer was unequivocal: “We would not have been in business today. At least I can see the way forward and I can forecast when everything will be better. The signs are there and the results are definitely coming. The trends are good”.
Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Harry S. Truman
Bravery and leadership often goes hand in hand
It is the brave that make the difference. Not the conservative. Sometimes difficult decisions are required to make things happen. And leadership is a component of that bravery. Realize one thing: the time is never right. If we wait for the time to be right we will be waiting till eternity. Brave leaders make the time right because it requires a changed state to create a new reality.
If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. Ivan Turgenev
Do’s and Don’ts – the correct implementation will drive new strategy
Do take a leaf out of the software development world of the last 10-15 years. When the product is 80% ready – launch. By the time everyone has bought in you will be as close to 100% as you can properly get. If you wait any longer, someone else will beat you to the punch and you’ll be playing catch up once more. So be brave. Lead with conviction and don’t settle for the status quo. Educate yourself on what will be required for you to acquire your lofty or stretch goals, and then go for it. Don’t hold back. And don’t wait for things to get better on their own. They never do – they always need your help – and your leadership in making a success of your business. Remember: The correct approach to implementation will drive new strategy.
Don’t take the easy way out and implement a partial strategy because it is easy and comfortable. If the strategy is designed to differentiate you in a specific way that is strange or uncomfortable for you, see it through. There was a reason you decided on that strategy in the beginning. So don’t implement in half measures because it is easy. That is what will cause things to remain the same and get you to question why you ever embarked on this process to start. You need to make decisions and carry them through completely. Otherwise you only have yourself to blame for a lack of change and a missing of your stretch goals.
Make 2015 the year that you decide to go for it in a big way. Get started today and lead in a brave way. It will pay dividends in the long term.
Neville Pokroy is the author of this article. To get further information about this forward thinking approach, feel free to contact him at (905)886-2235.
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