Few days back I introduced the course of Strategy Design and Delivery that is launched by Brightline along with Project Management Institute. My first blog explored the very first principle. As the course progresses, I promised that I will explore each principle and share my takeaways. We are now at principle 2.
To remind you of the first principle: it is the foundation of all other principles. It is acknowledging there is a gap between strategy design and strategy delivery. Now that leader accept and acknowledge this gap, what should they do next?
Principle 2 – Accept that you are accountable for the delivery of the strategy
With the surge of consultancy firms and experts around the globe helping businesses come up with a sexy strategy to grow their businesses, the sexiness usually drops when implementation is in place. Many companies talk about strategy design and then hand over to the delivery team and ensure BAU (business as usual).
Principle 2 removes all of that practice or ambiguity of what that transition actually means. This principles states that leaders should accept that they are responsible to deliver the ‘sexy’ strategy they designed. They have to give their utmost focus and commitment:
- Oversee the implementation of the strategy
- Proactively address operational gaps as they arise from the implementation
- Be fully aware of where change happens in the businesses and who are the champions behind this change
While this principle might seem straight forward, it is also difficult in practice. Leaders and Executives have to be fully involved and committed to deploy the strategy they designed. Why is it difficult? I think that without clear visibility of success metrics, what good looks like for a strategy to be achieved, and who is accountable to deliver which parts of the strategy, the implementation becomes tricky.
I enjoyed this principle because the example that was given was on STC (Saudi Telecom Company) in Saudi Arabia. I remember when living in the middle east how STC entered Kuwait – which was an emerging market – and competed with 2 giants that pre existed. So it was good to see the example. They talk about 3 key areas they worked on, which I will leave it for you to explore when you take the course.
In my own experience, I remember working with a client who was keen on understanding how well was their strategy implemented. So we worked on making the strategy visible, having the delivery team contribute to the strategy design. And once the strategy was designed, we asked the executive team: at what stage will you be satisfied that your strategy was successful? There was no historic benchmark for them so they were not sure how to put metrics forward. Is 100% strategy delivery acceptable? Or is it unrealistic? What if change was to happen that would shift some of the strategic initiatives or priorities? Would that be considered a failure?
Have you had any experience with businesses who still have not made the connection between strategy design and strategy delivery? Any take aways from that experience?
As I mentioned previously, I will be publishing my takeaways from each of the principles as the training progresses. So make sure you enter your email and hit the subscribe button to get these principles straight to your inbox: