Developing a business strategy is just the first step in the journey to achieve business success. This article examines the main steps and challenges involved in effectively putting a business strategy into action. A good business strategy for a company is the foundation for success, but effective implementation requires an integrated approach, resources, and skillful change management within the organization.

In previous articles we have addressed the question of where to start working on building a strategy and how to create an effective strategy. We encourage you to read them to learn how a business strategy should be created step by step.

Communicating strategy within the company

Effective strategy implementation begins with communication. Every member of the team needs to understand where the company is going, why it’s important, and what they contribute to achieving those goals.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 95% of employees do not understand their company’s strategy.

Interestingly, managers very often avoid explicitly articulating their expectations of the team, yet you can’t assume that all employees will guess what their impact is on strategy implementation. Meetings, presentations, newsletters – every form of communication matters. The simpler the language, the greater the understanding. For every important decision, it is useful to refer to the elements of the strategy that determined it.

Empowering staff through engagement

It is a cliche to say that a company’s most important resource is its employees. Therefore, a key element of successful strategy implementation is their involvement. When employees see the sense and benefits of new activities, they become a strong support in the implementation process. These benefits are not only visible, material change but also the emotions that accompany it, such as pride in the results achieved. People want to implement things that make sense.

Strategy implementation is not just a task for executives. Every employee plays a key role in this journey. Integrating activities and working together toward goals will make the company a close-knit team, and each team member needs to understand how their actions contribute to the greater whole.

Appropriate organizational structure

Strategy influences the structure of a company. Implementation of new processes may require organisational alignment. Flexibility is key here, and the structure should be set up to support strategic goals. Don’t try to fit the strategy into the structure. The company’s business strategy is something much more important and bigger. Look at the structure as a tool to implement the strategy. To achieve this, each department/team should be assigned responsibility for specific goals.

Empathy of management

Change is a necessary component of strategy implementation. Managing the change process is an art that requires a precise plan but also a high degree of empathy and the ability to foresee the consequences. The support of leaders who act as guides in this time of uncertainty is also a key element. First, it is worthwhile to check what level of emotional intelligence the leaders in your organisation possess, and based on the results develop a plan to strengthen these competencies.

Organisational culture based on true values

Peter Drucker, one of the most important founders of modern management thought, defined the importance of organizational culture by saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I believe that without the right culture there is no chance to implement even the best strategy, while at the same time a mediocre strategy reinforced by a good culture can produce above-average results. Organizations that value creativity and openness to new ideas are more capable of sustaining long-term growth and successfully implementing innovation.

You build culture on values, which should be in sync with strategic goals. It’s true that it’s very difficult to develop a common set of values in an organisation. It’s easy here to be tempted to take shortcuts. Only, there are no shortcuts here. If you choose values that are false then all you will achieve is big costs and zero benefits. Values are another lever that can make your vision a reality or just remain empty words in a beautiful document.

Monitoring the results

Implementing a business strategy is a dynamic process. Regular monitoring of progress and analysis of results are essential. Identifying potential problems and adjusting actions will ensure that the company stays on course toward achieving its goals. To be able to do this, it is necessary to break down the strategic metrics into their assigned tactical metrics. In turn, break down the tactical ones and assign appropriate operational metrics to them. With a good gradation on an ongoing basis, you will be able to catch areas that need special care.

Linking budgets to priorities

Adopting a strategy is not an empty gesture. It’s the most important decision that defines further actions. It’s hard to believe, but as many as 60% of organisations do not link financial budgets to strategic priorities. You can’t implement something you don’t have the money for, and spend money on something that isn’t related to your vision. Such a strategic disconnect between goals and resource allocation is a disaster!

Enterprise agility

Imagine that almost a quarter of organizations review strategy implementation only once a year.

Successful implementation of business strategy is not just about maintaining the status quo, but also about being able to adapt to a changing environment. After all, your company does not operate in a vacuum. Don’t be afraid to verify that you are definitely implementing the right plan. An annual in-depth look at your strategy is the minimum you should find the time and resources for.

A company’s effectively implemented business strategy is not only a necessity, it’s the main element needed to gain a competitive advantage. Properly managing this process requires coordinated action, communication and flexibility. Being creative and focused on innovation. If a company approaches this challenge with determination and understanding, the path to success will become much clearer and more achievable.

If you are wondering how to implement or create strategies more effectively, or would like to talk about your business challenges – we invite you to contact and schedule a free consultation with Jerzy Kurgan, Managing Director of Innovatika, who has many years of experience in co-creating strategies for large and medium-sized organizations. To schedule a consultation click here.