Foolproofing Strategy Implementation

Sorry. You can’t foolproof implementation of your strategy. No matter how good it is. You can however, give it a much better shot whilst battling those underlying intangible forces that dictate an organisation’s ability to outperform others that I wrote about last week.

One option is Red Teaming which I wrote about a few weeks ago. That is, giving an alternative team the job of assessing, re-thinking, testing and re-engineering your strategy, giving you the results and then letting you decide how good your strategy is and what you will move ahead with and how.

Might seem a bit over-the-top for some I am expecting. However, that doesn’t mean you should do nothing! At least run a series of strategy implementation workshops. My normal methodology is straightforward:

Pre-workshop – Run a set of analysis tools. My favourites are a stakeholder analysis, PEST, Porter’s Five Forces and my own Building Blocks analysis tool for assessing the internal capability of your organisation.

For-Workshop – I take each strategy and I make a list of all the “things” that will need to be managed for it to be successful. Everything from changes to the supply chain to the change management challenges to make a cultural shift.

In-Workshop – I work through my list asking those present if the challenge is valid and, if so, how do they intend to manage it. I ask them for other things that will challenge them that were not on my list and how they are going to manage them. Then I ask them to rate how effective they will be in managing each challenge. Then I ask them how likely it is that they will achieve their objective within +/- 10%. Then I help them give their objective a risk level.

Yep, you guessed it. I don’t call them risk workshops anymore. For me, they are strategy implementation workshops. While not making your strategy foolproof, I can say with 100% surety, every team I have ever worked with like this is grateful for the time spent and the insight they gained.