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Create The Conditions Business Quickie Overcoming the 7 Choke Points of Strategy Implementation Morry Patoka

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1 Create The Conditions Business Quickie Overcoming the 7 Choke Points of Strategy Implementation Morry Patoka

2 A great strategy unimplemented is as useless as having no strategy. People develop your strategy. People execute your strategy. Strategy is all about your people. Get this part right.

3 If your Corporate Strategy is not being effectively implemented its because your people either… 1.Dont know it. 2.Dont understand it. 3.Dont agree with it. 4.Dont feel attached to it. 5.Dont have a process to improve it. 6.Dont have a framework to bring it down to a tactical level. 7.Dont have benchmarks to navigate it. Avoid the 7 Choke Points!

4 1 Dont know it. How many times have you heard stories of CEOs, incognito, asking employees what makes their company different and getting wildly different responses, none of which were correct? Its not limited to the corporate masses. It happens at every level.

5 1 A senior executive approached me to apologize after I revealed the misalignment on their team. He was embarrassed. He was pissed off. He was inspired to explore how the executive team and employees can work together. He now runs that corporation, by the way. During my session with the C-Suite of a billion dollar company not one executive could clearly articulate the corporate strategy, and as a group, they did not agree on its fundamentals.

6 1 Not knowing is a symptom of two endemic problems Thinking Alone In Your Box + Weak Communications

7 1 Why it happens: 1.Little or no employee engagement through the process of developing strategy. 2.Entrusting all of your strategic thinking to senior executives without the benefit of on-the-street-today experience. 3.Rushing or limiting your strategic development to yearly bursts that dont allow much time for others to contribute. 4.One-way, linear communications that dont invite input from your people at all levels. 5.Failing to focus on the basic fundamentals that drive your business.

8 2 Dont understand it. When you do communicate your strategy, are you playing broken telephone? You cant rely solely on executives to pass it along to managers… who explain it to supervisors… who have a staff meeting and later… get full-timers to explain it to part-timers when they show up for a shift.

9 2 And dont expect memos to get across the right depth of understanding Memos are helpful to share basic information. You need a little more depth when it comes to communicating your strategy.

10 2 Helping the people in your organization understand your strategy takes a more comprehensive and disciplined approach. Target Segments Workshop Series Group Presentations Memo SeriesEmail Series Intranet Program Executives Managers Production Marketing Etc. Pre-Launch Program Launch Program Reinforcement Program Create a marketing plan with lots of interaction and reinforcement.

11 3 Dont agree with it. No matter what you do, not everyone will agree with your strategy. Thats okay. As long as you did your pre-launch homework.

12 3 Get feedback. Just because a few people dont agree with the strategy doesnt make it wrong. GroupIndividualsAgreeDisagree BoardSam ExecutivesHelen AdvisorsJoyce Key EmployeesAlbert Close SuppliersVernon Trusted CustomersRachna This is a learning and strengthening opportunity!

13 3 Disagreement is your Early Warning System Use their answers, and yours, to identify and address potential gaps in either your strategy or your communication. Now. Before you go much further. Ask why they disagree. Listen carefully to their answers. Listen even more carefully to your answers! Can you respond quickly, clearly and convincingly? Can you support your strategy with evidence?

14 4 Dont feel attached to it. You need more than peoples brains for successful implementation… You need their hearts

15 4 To win hearts… Tasks Research Testing Calibration Input Insights Opinions Experience Expertise Perspective Facts Results Departments Operations Finance Production Marketing Sales Customer Service Decisions Strategy Development Team enable contribution

16 4 Creating attachment takes… consistent interaction, persistent effort, and multiple touch-points Big MessagesFocused MessagesEngagement Communications from Core Team lay the foundation for the corporate strategy, keep employees aware of overall progress, ignites enthusiasm and stimulates feedback Communications from managers that translate Big Messages for departments and staff Big Messages: Collect feedback through online surveys so Core Team can quickly assess and utilize input. Focused Messages: Feedback flows up through managers who are better equipped to address specific issues.

17 4 Find your Sparks! Get Sparks on side early Help them understand the underlying reasons for your strategic direction Give them the basis to believe Give them tools to communicate Keep in close contact Demonstrate your appreciation Opinion leaders command attention from co-workers.

18 5 Dont have a process to improve it. Your strategy is not perfect. Nothing is written in stone Except your Purpose and Core Values

19 5 Two major forces will push your strategy around One, your world changes. Dramatically. Two, employees will see things that require change. Deal with it before it destroys what youve built. Give them a way to do something about it.

20 5

21 Dont have a framework to bring it down to a tactical level. 6 Provide guidelines for the journey from corporate strategy to tactical reality Procedures; reporting. New metrics; new marketing; new voice mail greeting. How much time? Who is responsible? How does everyone know theyre doing the right things?

22 6 Strategy means change. How much change and how your people will react is dependant upon two attributes of your strategy: 1.How different it is; and 2.How new it is.

23 6 Fortify your framework by empowering your managers to work more effectively with their teams. GuidelinesMetricsExamplesExpectations Strengthen the framework by creating the channels for ideas to flow up and down

24 7 Dont have benchmarks to navigate it. Implementing strategy takes time and resources. Keep track so you know whats going on. Highlight issues that need to be addressed quickly. Evaluate internal processes, helping your organization become better, smarter and faster.

25 7 Establish a small team to formulate the implementation plan and benchmarks Create a set of measures that… 1.Includes milestones to help everyone from the top down pinpoint progress against expectations; 2.Features simple triggers that trigger action; and 3.Includes learning modules to improve and embed processes.

26 7 The effectiveness of your strategy implementation is directly related to how well your strategy is being adopted by your people

27 7 For example: Executives might not consider the Schedule an issue until its six days late. Managers may score it a negative and have to address it if its only one day late. Adoption of Strategy+- Schedule Performance Feedback Each organizational group sets Strategy Adoption Scores against their needs.

28 7 Negative Adoption Scores tell you where to look for the problems you have to address immediately NegativeWhere you have to look Off schedulePlan too aggressive Unforeseen hurdles Tactical issue – Choke Point 6 Benchmark issue – Choke Point 7 Performance below expectations Forecasting too optimistic Impact of change distracting Process issue – Choke Point 5 Benchmark issue – Choke Point 7 Feedback negativeResponse to shortcomings of planning and/or forecasting Communication issue (Choke Points 1 – 4)

29 1.Engage as many people in the organization as possible to contribute to strategy development, even if its just compiling information. 2.Communicate the direction and reasoning of your strategy in a way that makes sense to each audience. 3.Listen to whats being said and learn from others in your organization who are responsible for bringing the strategy to life. 4.Help to bring the strategy closer to the minds and hearts of your people by developing a multi-channel, two-way communications program. 5.Provide a simple method to share thinking up and down the organization. 6.Establish a framework that empowers managers and employees to translate the strategy into their workday. 7.Measure what you do, how you do it and be proactive. Creating The Conditions for Successful Implementation of Strategy

30 Read the full article at

31 A series of short presentations to help inspire thinking and accelerate action I would really appreciate your feedback. Visit to share your comments, ask questions and read articles on what it takes to create the right conditions for your business to If youd like to learn how to develop the winning strategy by leveraging the collective brainpower of your organization, please visit Morry Patoka Copyright © 2009 Create The Conditions Business Quickies

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