Business Strategies Take Hard Work, Time and Commitment
Is it better to have a business strategy than no business strategy? The question really is – does the CEO or Owner of the business have a business strategy they are actually going to implement or a business strategy they just like talking about. Or to put this another way; talk is cheap, but it takes hard work, time and commitment to implement a cohesive business strategy.
A business strategy needs to state a business problem(s) or issue(s) in a systematic manner. Business strategies need to define the problem(s) or issue(s) in a direct and concise manner, such as, “Improve global product and support services revenue”.
A business strategy that states a business metric to be achieved, such as, “Increase global product sales by 10%”, is really stating a business goal and objective versus a business strategy. Metrics are used to measure functional performance of an area that is responsible for implementing their individual part of the business’s strategy. When developing a business strategy, avoid confusing metrics as the business’s strategy. Functional areas need goals and objectives that detail out how they plan to support the business’s strategy with metrics being one method of measuring each functional area’s performance.
Business strategies look great on paper and make wonderful talking points, but it is the communication and implementation of business strategies that executives fail to preform correctly or even do at all. Business executives need to communicate and implement the business strategy throughout the entire organization in a systematic and comprehensive manner.
The communication and implementation plan for a business strategy can be determined in a relatively short period of time, but it is the implementation of the business strategy that will determine the success of the business. A business strategy will only work if the business strategy is implemented throughout the entire organization, with meaningful, realistic and achievable goals and objectives. Executives and all levels of management need to be held accountable by measuring results and continued follow through.
Executives and managers that fail to develop and implement their functional area’s plan to support the business strategy are road blocks that need to be addressed quickly. These executives or managers may think that the business strategy will take too much time, effort or they disagree with the business strategy. It may also be that the executive or manager is actually unable to perform the tasks required to implement a functional plan. The most shocking part of this behavior is when a CEO or Owner allows this behavior to take place, then takes no corrective action, including disciplinary, against the executive or manager; then wonders why the business strategy failed.
CEOs and Owners must be the driving force that ensures all functional business areas implement the business strategy, monitor and measure the organizational wide results and make changes accordingly. It takes hard work, time and commitment, often over multiple years, to implement a cohesive business strategy. CEOs or Owners need to hold themselves responsible for making a business strategy successful, because that is their job!