By Stuart R. Levine

Published in, Forbes

We all want to achieve results through a clear strategy that is successfully executed. But this doesn’t always happen. You can have the best strategy in the world, but if you can’t execute it, you won’t achieve your mission.

Strategic execution is accomplished through inclusion and getting a culture that not only understands your strategy and direction, but has the ability to break through silos and work together – subjugating personal goals for a higher purpose.   Building a culture grounded in really smart communication additionally becomes a strategic recruiting weapon for your organization and enables the smartest and best people to develop. This happens through clear messaging and accountability. The role that leadership plays in strategic execution is enormous. Aligning around a clear set of deliverables and holding people accountable is key.   Below are thought provoking questions I recently asked on a webinar to jump start the conversation and can enable you to start making positive changes in your organization.

Has your organization embraced your vision, mission, core values and value proposition?

Getting the right foundations in place and then ensuring that both words and actions align is difficult. During a recent webinar on this topic, polling questions reflected these challenges. When I asked over 200 senior executives on my last webinar, “Has your organization embraced your vision, mission, core values and value proposition?” 48% said yes, but not enough and 10% said no, but progress is being made. That sampling shows that almost 60% are not satisfied with their progress on this important foundation required before any strategy can be successful implemented.

Have you developed an effective strategic communication plan that strengthens your culture to deliver results?

These results were surprising. Fifty-three percent said, yes but not enough and 29said no, but thinking about it. Over 80% were not confident enough to say yes. Actually only 10% said yes and 8% actually said no. There is a lot of work to be done in the area of developing a strategic communication plan that enables your organization to achieve results.

When organizations lack common language and understand and there is a poor rhythm of communication and messaging through the organization, it becomes impossible create momentum, engagement and focus.

Have you provided your team with the appropriate leadership development to increase their skills to deliver results?

Only a small percentage, 14% said yes. Fifty-two percent said yes, but not enough and 25% said no, but thinking about it and actually 7% said no.   So almost 85% were not satisfied with the development of their team’s leadership capacity.

Without providing your team with the appropriate leadership skills to ensure success, they will be unable to deliver results. As a leader, it is your role to identify the gaps of your team members and to provide the necessary training and leadership development skills to enable them to succeed.

As webinar guest, Stephen Rosenthal, Senior Vice President, Population Health Management at Montefiore Health System and President of the CMO The Care Management Company, LLC explained, “leadership begins at the top of the organization. The role of leadership is to make sure there is growth and opportunity. We have focused on a process with both individuals and the team as a whole that ensures strategic leadership communication, sets clear deliverables and aligns goals and objectives. This process has created a culture that has attracted the best people with very little turnover and clear succession planning strategies. There is no magic bullet. It’s ongoing. “

Creating Accountability

In order to successfully implement strategic plans, there needs to be accountability. But without the translation of strategic planning goals, clearly identified deliverables and milestones with ownership created, there can be no accountability. To help you through this process, here is a list of additional questions you should be asking to ensure success:

  • Is your leadership team totally aligned around your organization’s vision?
  • Have you assessed whether your team has an understanding of the strategic plan and are they aligned around it?
  • Do people in the organization understand their roles and responsibilities in achieving the strategic plan?
  • Have you established clear metrics in the achievement of your strategic drivers?
  • Do you have plans in place to develop and increase the leadership capacity and accountability of your team?
  • Do you have a strategic communication plan in place that sets a rhythm of communication that enforces your objectives, goals and strategies?
  • Is your culture building the right behaviors that set the foundation for achieving results?
  • Is progress on the strategic plan shared with relevant ongoing data to ensure effective execution and decision-making to meet timelines?
  • Does your leadership team have the values, skills and ability to own, be accountable and hold others accountable for the results?
  • Do you have an effective program management infrastructure and project management approach in place?

When you begin to clearly answer these questions above, your quest for effective strategic implementation and developing the right culture to support it, will ensure your journey is on the right path!