Strategy execution remains a major challenge for many mid-market and emerging business owners. A significant investment of both time and resources is put into the development of strategy but quite often the execution of this strategy is where companies fall short.
We often observe that a strategy session has been planned and facilitated, the strategy discussed and captured but once the team disperses back into the organisation the substance stays locked up in the reports and documents that form the outputs of many of these exercises. To maximise the benefit from this investment the rubber needs to hit the road.
Our work with clients has consistently reinforced one thing to us – those organisations that work on establishing an operating system that is appropriately tailored to their business (i.e. not too complex but not too simple) tend to maximise performance. This is what we call operating ‘in “the zone’.
On the one hand, companies that are not getting enough done, tend to miss deadlines and deliverables, have ambiguous KPIs and objectives and hold internal meetings with little or no structure and typically sit on the scale between Chaos and Coasting.
At the other extreme, we see companies that are simply trying to do too much. This is often characterised by more time reporting than executing, having too many KPIs and objectives and holding too many internal meetings – particularly ones with very rigid and inflexible structure. These companies are often overdoing it and can easily get stuck in bureaucracy.
Ideally, companies need to be ‘in the zone’ to maximise performance. When done well this results in businesses and internal teams doing what they set out to do, establishing reporting that fits the flow of work, adopting clear and simple KPIs and objectives and holding just enough meetings (with just enough structure) to make them efficient and effective.
Operating ‘in the zone’ tends to lead to higher performance outcomes and is a key to successful strategy execution. To operate ‘in the zone’ you need a fit for purpose operating system that is designed and implemented to support your people and maximise their outputs.