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Effective Strategy Implementation

Jamie Dimon, now CEO of JPMorgan Chase famously stated, “I’d rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy any time than a brilliant idea and mediocre management.” Anyone who follows business publications has read it numerous times: the reason why many strategies fail is because of poor execution. 

The process of coming up with a new strategy is elegant. Lofty goals are set, complex models are developed, and a new way forward is agreed upon. The part that follows is often less glamorous, as implementation can be a challenging process. Follow these key guidelines to ensure that the process will be as smooth and effective as possible.

Communicate your Strategy
Your company’s strategy shouldn’t be a secret known only to the select few in upper management positions. People on all levels have to be aware of its general outline as well as of how they fit into the picture. However, words are not enough – as leader you have to communicate by walking the talk! You have to visibly support the desired changes, so that your people will follow accordingly.

Listen to Strategic Feedback 
As the new strategy is set into motion, regardless of how great it is, slight (or even substantial) changes will probably be necessary. By choosing a few key metrics and paying close attention to them, you will be able to notice when you’re steering off-course and respond accordingly. Peter Drucker most certainly was right when he famously said „if you’re not measuring it, you’re not managing it“.

Adapt your Reward and Recognition Systems 
Another great (and indispensable) way to get employees on all levels involved in the process, apart from communicating better, is to align your reward and recognition systems with the strategy. This way, not only will everyone be aware of what the company wants to achieve but will also be able to understand how they are individually contributing. 


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Photo Credit: flickr user kenteegardin