In today’s turbulent economy, how can your business be successful? It’s not enough to have a clear vision. But success can be yours if you follow a simple three-step formula: Strategy, Accountability and Results.
First, develop, communicate and align all employees to an articulated strategic plan. Second, set a goal for measurable contributions from each employee. Your success is really about the execution and accountability of your people.
The third step: When success occurs, reward the people who made it happen.
A recent Associated Press article on the impact of the initial $700 billion economic bailout said the Government Accountability Office found “the lack of a clearly articulated vision has complicated Treasury’s ability to communicate on the benefits of TARP.” Without an articulated strategic plan you cannot have clear communications or expectations -- and without these, there is no alignment, and no results. This is
a glaring example of lack of alignment that resulted in
perceived failure. Regardless of your political views, our government violated the first two success principles, no vision and no accountability.
Visionary leadership is not enough. Vision without strategy is a dream unfulfilled. When business leaders effectively involve employees around addressing current business needs, aligning everyone to a compelling vision, people work together to solve problems. Results follow.
Strategic planning and execution are inextricably linked. Keep your strategy simple. Include measurable results, developed by the people who are accountable for delivering those results. Be realistic and allocate resources to support your strategic plan. Make prompt mid-course corrections as the business climate changes. When your people achieve results, reinforce these results with rewards. Reward behavior that is important to your business.
A Harvard Business Review article on “Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance,” by Michael C. Mankins and Richard Steele, concluded that “companies typically realize only 60 percent of their strategies’ potential value.” The answer is leadership follow-through. Leaders generate vision, alignment, and common goals to inspire a clear path to success. Leaders hold people accountable for their commitments. Are you one of these leaders?
The bottom line: business strategy is required to get through these though times. To realize a shared vision, engage your team, get them interested in their future, the future of your business and their jobs! Your business can thrive in the most difficult of times – and that will translate to growth in business income, profit and employment.