By Shannon Sage Published on 07-07-10
3 Tips to Enhance Strategy Execution

To continue on with last issue’s topic of establishing effective strategic measures, here are three tips to further enhance processes from a management perspective.

When establishing strategic objectives that span 3 to 5 years, a series of supportive goals and actions typically cascade through the structure of the organization.  At its core, the selected metrics for these goals and actions should drive the strategic objective.  The underlying metrics must align to ensure the success of the long-term goal.

No single metric can provide a clear direction. From a process perspective, the use of multiple metrics can serve as drivers that aggregate toward the fulfillment the strategic objective.  These tips should help focus your metric selection:

1. Select metrics that drive performance, not just measure history.

The propensity to measure the past through financial gains, losses and revenue for example, does not help give insight on the processes that so vitally impact organizational success.  Transformation that is typically inherent in strategic objectives is often dependent on improving intangibles like service, customer loyalty and morale.   Gauging these requires an understanding of the conditions that need to exist in order to select effective metrics.

2. Include metrics that consider the “lead and lag” relationships.

Internally, this may mean projecting the value of employee training for reaching a new level of efficiency or priming the organization for innovation.  Externally, this may mean staying responsive to market conditions or other relationships that may impact your value chain.  A true competitive edge requires attention to the “lead and lag” indicators of your organization’s environment, so you might as well include these as metrics that can be reviewed regularly in your strategic execution schedule.

3. Opt for metrics that reinforce the best in your employees.

All organizations have employees that offer skill and talent.  How effectively does your organization tap into the collective strength within?  Recognizing the ways in which employees are finding inspiration or assigning meaning to their jobs is key in understanding what needs to be nurtured.  Create an environment in which employees can be motivated by inspiration and meaning, and you’ll have a solid foundation to take your organization to another level of strategic achievement.  Needing some inspiration around this topic? Check out a new TED talk (available above) about “Measuring What Counts” for some ideas.

These are just a few considerations, but should be a good start when determining metrics for your strategic plan.  Creating conditions for success means measuring performance and processes from a holistic perspective, which is what a great strategic plan should demand.