Successful strategy implementation

ErfolgOftentimes clients ask us during the project planning phase about the requirements of successful strategy implementation within the organization. EARLY BRANDS experience: A key element of successful strategy implementation is the dialogue based identification of the individual requirements and activities of management and employees. In addition, there are five success factors, which enable us to raise implementation success in our client projects:

1. Clear and implementation oriented definition of strategy objectives

A decisive factor to successful implementation is understandable and transparent communicated strategy objectives. They are the bridge from strategy to implementation. Practical example: In the development and implementation of a portfolio strategy for a leading consumer goods company strategies for new products and services are not only tested in regards to their earnings impact but also the understanding and acceptance in the markets and functional areas.

2. Visibility of priority and resource endowment

Decisive to project success is also the creation of the necessary visibility and resource endowment by top management. The prioritization of the strategy relevant topics in opposition to daily business requires clear and understandable policies. Example: During the implementation of a cross-department innovation process also managers, which are not directly involved in the project, are actively involved in the resource discussions. In this way we ensure together with our clients, that the staffs of these managers receive the necessary support from their superiors to actively participate in the project implementation process, next to their daily business routines.

3. Ensuring cross-functional coordination and cooperation

The promotion of cross-functional coordination and cooperation is another important way to enhance the successful implementation of strategies: Regardless of who initiated the implementation project, or why is going to be the principal beneficiary of the implementation success – only if all actively involved people understand and support the implementation objective effectiveness and time and cost efficiency can be ensured. One example is the implementation of a growth strategy that closely involves marketing, sales and category management; in addition to their own individual field activities. Through a joint project target system, which at the same time relates to the individual field goals, rivalry for resources, skills project success communication can be minimized – and thus put the interest in the joint project success to the fore.

4. Recognizing new realities and seizing opportunities during implementation

As the winds change, sails must be re-set. Important to successful strategy implementation is a flexible way of looking at the status quo and initially agreed procedures. Those companies are successful, who know how to subject the progress of the implementation to a continuous re-evaluation and are therefore able to consider new and adapted activities. EARLY BRANDS experience: It is essential to actively involve all project participants involved in the evaluation of the status quo. In this way, necessary changes are more easily transparent. Changing objectives and activities can be accepted much more easily on this basis and be brought to success as a team.

5. Recognize and reward eagerness to experiment and flexibility

Anyone who experiments accepts the risk of failing, but at the same time takes the chance to create something extraordinary. The courage not to pursue not the easiest way but the most promising in line with the corporate strategy is yet recognized and promoted too infrequently.
EARLY BRANDS has made the experience that companies are successful with the implementation of innovative growth strategies, marketing- and sales programs and technology management processes when during implementation the eagerness to experiment of employees, customers and partners is actively incorporated. Lead-customer programs are a good example for an approach which directly involves strategically important customers in the conceptual development process of each project phase. This significantly rises chances for market success.

We can conclude that the effective consideration of five success factors can positively influence implementation success. A further benefit is the enhanced motivation and orchestration of management and employees, who strive together for a common goal. These insights are further supported by current research provided by Donald and Charles Sull and Rebecca Homkes, which then again assess the barriers to implementation success in their latest Harvard Business Manager contribution.

EARLY BRANDS INSIGHT edition June 2015 download (pdf)