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Thriving Teams: From Strategy to Implementation

In today’s dynamic business environment, the most effective senior teams seamlessly align their organisation’s mission with everyday operations. They emphasise agility, making swift adjustments and reallocating resources to ensure their strategies are implemented successfully. This ability to prioritise efficiently is crucial for a team's success, allowing them to concentrate on activities that drive significant results. 

Strategy to Implementation

Setting a Clear Direction 

High-performing teams invest significantly more time in setting a strategic direction. Research indicates they spend 54% more time defining their vision and aligning resources accordingly than their lower-performing counterparts. This initial investment in strategy formulation and vision crafting is a guiding light, ensuring that all subsequent decisions and actions are purpose-driven. 

Translating Strategy into Action 

Another hallmark of high-performing teams is the effective translation of strategy into everyday processes and capabilities. These teams dedicate over 25% more time to aligning their enterprise with overarching strategic goals, establishing clear financial and operational metrics, and regularly reviewing progress. By maintaining this focus, they can seamlessly adjust their strategies and resources to meet changing business needs. 

Leveraging Cultural Strengths 

Understanding and harnessing the unique cultural factors that drive success is crucial. High-performing teams engage their organisations in ongoing dialogues about cultural enablers and barriers, spending 28% more time in such activities than lower-performing teams. They also prioritise talent development, investing significantly more time reviewing development plans, ensuring succession plans, and evaluating competitive compensation structures. 

Prioritising and Sequencing Initiatives 

One critical differentiator for high-performing teams is their ability to prioritise and sequence initiatives effectively. These teams spend 36% more time than lower-performing ones strategising and setting actionable goals. By focusing on big-ticket strategic items rather than getting bogged down in tactical firefighting, they maintain a clear direction and stay aligned with their long-term objectives. 

Shaping the Future 

High-performing teams are proactive in shaping the future. They spend considerable time influencing high-level stakeholders, managing expectations, and planning for future scenarios. This forward-thinking approach ensures that they are responsive to present changes and well-positioned for future success.


Practical Steps to Bridge the Gap 

To close the strategy-to-execution gap in your organisation, consider the following steps: 

  1. Strategise and Set Goals: Dedicate more time to developing and translating a clear strategy into actionable goals. 

  2. Engage and Align: Increase engagement with your organisation to surface barriers and unmet needs and communicate strategic direction clearly. 

  3. Stakeholder Interaction: Spend more time interacting with key stakeholders to anticipate and address roadblocks and opportunities. 

  4. Minimise Firefighting: Reduce the time spent on tactical issues that can be handled by lower levels, allowing the senior team to focus on strategic priorities. 

Review your team meeting agendas from the past six to twelve months and assess how much time was spent on strategic versus tactical issues. Reflect on your team’s ability to think proactively about the future and engage with the organisation and key stakeholders. Most importantly, ask yourself whether your team has successfully executed its strategy. 

By intentionally focusing on these critical areas, senior teams can bridge the strategy-to-execution gap and lead their organisations confidently towards sustained success. 

If you’d like to support creating a strategy for your organisation or team or galvanising your team to operationalise your strategy, please get in touch. 

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