The plans don't fail, the implementation does

Hey, how hard can it be? I mean you’ve got the plan, now just make it happen. But the reality is that business repeatedly fails to motivate their staff to work towards the plan’s implementation.

Why? Human nature is why.

Firstly, a plan is a plan, not action. A strategic plan doesn’t work by itself, it has to be executed by leaders at various levels within the business. These individuals need to be motivated and encouraged by the example and attitude of top management.

If you don’t link the strategy to results, then inevitably it will fail. The ultimate goal must be to effectively translate strategy into action through all levels of the company to deliver results. If you are not able to live up to the challenge of implementation then don’t bother with the strategy.

And then there’s the planning of the plan. It’s typical to see how the energy and enthusiasm that happens during the planning process slips away when the planning is finished, agreed to and everyone returns to the day-to-day issues. This is where the real work actually starts - implementation of the plan.

So what can you do to overcome this inertia? Make the strategy ‘live’ by:
- Communicating the strategic intent and the actions needed to facilitate execution;
- Using continuous communication processes to rally everyone to get behind the plan;
- Setting individual performance targets that are in unison with the strategic plan; and
- Consistently measuring progress, assessing and giving feedback about performance.

You can't overcome human nature, but if top management can ensure performance is aligned to the strategic plan’s goals, you’ll have a better chance of turning your plan into action.

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