Business StrategyGeneral BusinessNews & Opinion

Your Execution Sucks

… and what to do about it

You now realise it isn’t personal don’t you?

I’m truly concerned that many business owners don’t understand strategy, planning and execution, and their business suffers as a result.

Hopefully, you’ve reflected on your business’ strategy and made some changes; and scrutinised your business planning to make further adjustments.

Well, now I’m telling you that your execution probably also sucks – and that’s OK as long as you‘re willing to seek help to improve it. Read on and see if you recognise any of my top 4 reasons that execution frequently fails.

1.      You haven’t effectively communicated the change
Your business strategy and plan can be well thought out and constructed, but unless your team understand what they need to do to execute the plan, your execution will fail.

Getting your team on board involves articulating the “what”, “when”, “how”, “who” and (most importantly) the “why” of your strategy.

It’s crucial that you develop and articulate the story about where you’re headed, articulate why it’s important and what success will look like, and explain why their role is important.

2.      You haven’t prioritised execution
Successful execution requires a laser-like focus from you and each of your team members who are involved in executing your business plan.

But the urgency of your current day to day activities can pull you away from executing your plan.

Your staff probably already have full days and full to-do lists, and execution of business plan milestones can be seen as just another item on their list.

That’s why it’s important to hold regular review meetings to check on plan milestones, identify roadblocks and re-focus team members.

Creating visibility of milestones and achievements via a wall chart or other means can also help, as staff can see their contribution acknowledged.

3.      You’ve under-estimated the resources needed
Execution is resource-intensive – it can feel like you need more people, cash, and time than you have available. And that may be indeed be so.

It’s crucial to review your plan and your core business. Are there any activities you can stop doing, start doing, or do differently to achieve your milestones? You could identify time spent on low-value activities, or pinpoint a process that can be automated to free-up resources.

4.      You need to strengthen your bench
Even with a great team, there may be milestones in your plan that call for a different set of skills. If you really don’t have the skills internally, hire-in to avoid delays and stuff-ups.

Your Board or business advisor may have access to a network of experienced executives or even their own staff who can consult to your business for several hours, days or longer to fill the skills gap.

Alternatively, consider using a “temp” employee from a specialist recruitment provider. A “temp” can often be available for as little as half a day, so can assist with short-term needs.

If the need for this skill will be ongoing (and if you have time on your side), providing training for a team member who can then train others could be a worthwhile investment.

If you need help with executing your business strategy and plan, call us on 1300 656 141.


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Neil Parker
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