If you have been in a business leadership position, strategy is a familiar word. You probably have been in many strategy planning workshops. There are a lot of strategy planning models and services on the market. An organization has many different types of strategies such as: HR, Sales, Operational Excellence etc. Regardless what type of strategy, the execution method is common. In the Golden Circle, strategy execution method is the HOW. It is the process to realize the WHY.
DREAMER vs DOER :
Strategy planning is the glamorous phase. It is where the team get together talks about the dreams and wishes for the business. In this phase leaders dream big and think wild. Define the goal and initiatives for the near future. It is motivating and energizing while looking ahead of what is possible. In this phase, leaders can be “Dreamers”. “Dreamers” are the visionaries in an organization. They are the ones who come up with big ideas and audacious goals for the growth.
The phase which will actually realize the purpose and create the results is the STRATEGY EXECUTION. This phase is where dreams and wishes got grounded and becoming daily hustle. It is no longer as glamorous. It is much more details oriented. The ones carry this phase out are the “Doers”. Leaders are often good “Dreamers” but not good “Doers”. A symptom would be that strategies are well developed at a high level but not broken down to an easy to execute action plan in a consistent manner. This is one of the causes of execution failure. “Doers” generally not getting as much credit and attention as the “Dreamers”. Without execution, the strategy will only be a plan. The business with a WHY is motivating, the WHAT (results) provides sustainability. Sustainability is the much needed fertilizer that business can grow and thrive on. The focus is the WHY; the destination is the WHAT; the process is the HOW. The HOW is the system taking a strategy to the envisioned state to ensure sustainability. The HOW relies on the “Doers” in your team. When we evaluate process and systems, we look for accountability and consistency. Invest in the right system for your “Doers”. They are the ones carry out the resilience process to achieve the result.
” A leader is not responsible of the result, a leader is responsible for the people responsible of the result.”
– The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
Feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Another cause of the execution failure is lack of monitoring of the progress.
In Simon Sinek’s TED talk Finding he WHY, he talked about people want the reward and acknowledgement of their EFFORT. The feelings of accomplishment comes from things people go out of their ways to accomplish. People want to feel that their effort is moving somewhere. The feeling of accomplishment happens during the execution. Once teams are committed to the strategy plan, the motivation comes from seeing their efforts is moving the needle towards the finish line. The monitoring of the progress includes: Collect consistent data, Visualize the data, Transparency to team.
Finding a system that can address all the pain points is the key to results. I have helped small-medium size business achieve their WHAT with The 5-Step Method. It creates consistency, accountability and agility while building success momentum.
Clearly define the Wildly Important Goals and success. Leaders need to first get CLARITY on what you want to achieve and where the “finish line” is.
- SMART actions
It is not only referring to taking action smartly. It also means also choose the actions that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Use SMART as a filter when brainstorming the actions. Prioritize the actions to focus on by IMPACT towards the goals. This step is built on the 1st step reaching clarity.
How do you know how much progress the team is making if you do not SEE it? If the progress is based on “I feel that we are making good progress”. Everyone’s feeling is different based on the information digested. But SEEing the progress get the team on the same page. Building trust and encouragement. The best part is that you can SEE if anyone is lacking. Transparency increases accountability.
While the team is working hard moving forward, once in a while take a break, look back. You will realize how far you have made. “The most encouraging feeling is the the feeling of making progress” – Atomic Habits. Reflection not only help teams recognize the accomplishments, it also help the team to recognize opportunity for small improvements.
This is the most important step. Celebrate a small win, keep the success momentum going! Small wins lead to big win -the Wildly Important Goal.
The WHY(purpose) is the direction. The HOW(process & method) is what actually helping the team to achieve the WHAT(result). Invest in the HOW for your must win strategies.