Can the success of strategy execution be improved by a daily workout?

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As an SME owner manager it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds of the day to day, the operational “stuff” that needs attention to make sure you don’t end the day issuing yourself with a P45.

Often this means that strategy development is relegated to the not urgent not important basket to be dealt with in utopia when all of the day to day tasks have been dealt with.

We know that strategic planning defines long term success so why don’t we prioritise it?

In an post on LinkedIn, Lincoln City CEO, Liam Scully, was paraphrased as saying “While acknowledging the importance of daily operations, he emphasises the necessity of dedicating time to strategic development aiming to hit the very small sweet spot between immediate and future success”

This really resonated with me and got me thinking. What would be the impact of adding a short but daily dose of strategy development into my schedule. A time each day where I got out of the weeds and spent time developing our strategy or doing something for the long term.

The next day I opened my diary and blocked out 30 minutes every day (MtoF) for what I called my “strategy workout”.

Having given myself around 11 hours across a month to work on strategy my mind was buzzing but it occurred to me that I needed to have a plan. This was less about shiny new ideas and more about a wider set of actions that would lead to longer term success.

As I thought about this more, I jotted down some thoughts as to what would make this 30-minute strategy workout, successful.

We’ve got a great strategy, with themes that focus on creating competitive advantage through differentiation. Executing the sub plots below each theme is always the hard part and this got me thinking about how I could make this easier. I concluded that if your business is ; strong, fast, agile and fit you are more likely than not to deliver these individual parts of the plan successfully. The premise, create the right conditions and strategy execution will happen.

I therefore asked myself four questions: –

How does the organisation become stronger and more resilient?

How do we increase organisational cadence in all aspects of what we do?

How do we become more agile?

How do we build greater capacity and become more efficient?

How does the organization become stronger and more resilient?

Strengthening and increasing resilience within an organisation involves fostering a culture of adaptability and innovation. By investing in employee training and development, encouraging collaboration across teams, and embracing change, organisations become more resilient to challenges and disruptions.

How do we increase organizational cadence in all aspects of what we do?

Increasing organisational cadence requires streamlining processes, improving communication, and creating a culture of accountability and transparency. By setting clear goals and expectations, establishing regular check-ins and feedback loops, and leveraging technology to automate repetitive tasks, organizations can enhance efficiency and responsiveness.

How do we become more agile?

Becoming more agile involves embracing a mindset of flexibility, experimentation, and continuous improvement. Empowering teams to make autonomous decisions, creating a culture of learning from failure, and prioritising customer feedback enable organisations to adapt quickly to changing trends and seize new opportunities.

How do we build greater capacity and become more efficient?

Building greater capacity and enhancing efficiency require optimising resource allocation, streamlining workflows, and leveraging technology effectively.

Organizations can achieve this by conducting regular assessments to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement, investing in automation tools and process optimisation, and reallocating resources based on strategic priorities. Encouraging innovation and creativity among employees, while also providing the necessary support and resources, helps unlock untapped potential and drive sustainable growth.

Strategic Thinking is something I’m passionate about. There is no better feeling than seeing your strategic plans come alive in the green lights of a key performance indicators (KPI’s) dashboard. What my recent reflections have made me realise is that the internal environment and culture of an organisation directly influence the success or failure of strategy execution but that there are positive actions you can take to create an environment that will positively influence long term success.

What would be in your 30 minute strategy workout?

Posted in Blog.