What are strategies for a successful business

Implement strategies correctly

Strategies must be implemented consistently and sustainably. This is often difficult in a business context - among other things because many people are usually involved in this process. Therefore, here is an overview of what you need for a successful strategy implementation.

1. A vision of where to go

How do we want to earn our money in five or ten years? Do we then want to be the most innovative company in our industry or the service leader? Do we then want to be the company with the highest turnover or the most profitable company in our market? Are we then only active and successful in Germany or Europe or worldwide? Before developing a strategy, you must have a concrete, pictorial idea or vision of this. Because only if you know the destination of your trip can you plan the way there. In addition, if you have a convincing corporate vision, it will be easier for you to motivate your employees to commit themselves to achieving the great goal.

2. A strategy for how the big goal is to be achieved

"Anyone who has visions should go to the doctor," said the late ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. By this he meant: Without a concrete idea of ​​how they can and should be realized, all visions are castles in the air or sound and smoke. "Do we want to become the innovation leader in our market, for example, by buying up a few start-ups?" "Or by expanding our research?" Or by enabling all of our employees to independently identify and use opportunities for improvement? "

Such questions need to be answered when developing the strategy. In addition: On which "breakthrough goals", i.e. sub-goals - such as increasing customer orientation or increasing the agility of the organization - we initially focus our activities because they have the greatest leverage in relation to the overarching goal (such as the most profitable company in the To become market)?

3. An implementation plan of how to proceed tactically and strategically

Suppose your company wants to become the most profitable company in its industry. It then has to tweak a number of parameters in order to achieve this goal. Then, for example, you need attractive products or services. And its sellers, must be able to sell them. In addition, the production or service provision processes must be lean, i.e. effective. In addition, if not cheap, at least it should be "inexpensive". As you can see, there is a lot to be done. So it is important to set priorities: What do we do first and what later? Because you cannot do everything at once, because you simply do not have the time - and often the money - in addition to the day-to-day business. You also need a plan that shows: Who will do what and by when - taking into account the "breakthrough goals"?

4. A management system to coordinate activities and control processes

If the vision of a company is to become a reality, then as a rule all areas in it have to rethink their previous approach and restructure themselves and their work. In addition, the cooperation between them usually has to be restructured, since in most companies today at least the core services are provided in cross-departmental team and project work. So a management system such as Hoshin-Kanri is required to coordinate the individual activities across departments and hierarchies, so that ultimately all those involved pull together and do not mutually block their activities and / or paralyze day-to-day business.

In addition, a management system or tool such as the balanced scorecard is required to control and check the overall process: If we are still on the right track to achieving the next milestone, we are gradually approaching the big one, step by step Aim? Only then can the company react quickly and agilely to possible deviations from the target - among other things, because it recognizes early on which measures (not) have the desired effect

5. Employees who are committed to achieving the goals

For example, the board of directors and senior management alone cannot achieve the goal of "We want to become the most profitable or the most innovative company". To do this, they need colleagues in all areas and at all levels. However, people only become committed comrades-in-arms when they identify with a project - either because they are convinced of it or at least are inspired by the trust: "My bosses already know what is necessary and right."

It is therefore important to integrate at least representatives from all affected areas into the planning as early as possible, so that they can later serve as multipliers and promoters of change.

6. A communication concept to inform and integrate those involved

In larger companies, however, all employees or those affected can never be involved in the strategic planning - and the fundamental strategic decisions cannot be made by the collective at all. Rather, those responsible in top management have to decide at some point: "We will do it and we will do it that way." This is your job. So they have to do it too - even if the opinions in the top team sometimes differ.

However, it is important that those responsible then inform all those concerned about what was decided and why the management decided to do so, while discarding other options, i.e. possibilities. In addition, it is important to inform those affected about what the decisions mean for them and what expectations are associated with them. In return, however, those affected also have a right to know what they can expect from their management and the company. This requires a communication concept or strategy - also because in the course of the change project, which is every strategy implementation process, new information and communication needs arise again and again.

7. Promoters and multipliers who advertise the change project

Employee newspapers and internal company intranets are important media for informing those affected. The messages are much more effective, however, if those affected hear them from people with whom they have a relationship and whom they trust - especially if they also ask their questions and answer them in such a way that they appear authentic and thus credible. This is why strategy implementation projects need such promoters and multipliers at all levels, because only with their help does the company manage to get employees on board who are initially waiting or critically distant towards the project.

8. Leaders who lead

There are different typical phases in every change project. It is not uncommon for a large proportion of those affected to initially reject such a plan and lapse into a kind of paralysis. Over time, however, he gradually accepts the planned change rationally and then also emotionally and is increasingly committed to achieving its goals.

also read: How executives stay on course despite being agile

In the different phases of a change project, the employees have different fears and fears, wishes and needs. As a result, they also have different expectations of their leadership. A manager must know this and respond appropriately. The managers must be qualified for this, because only then can they perform their management tasks in the change project professionally and, if necessary, make the necessary course corrections in their area of ​​responsibility, if it can be seen that there are problems in achieving the goals.

9. A qualification program that provides those affected with the necessary skills

If the structures and processes as well as the work content and relationships change in a company in order to achieve the strategic goals, this also results in new demands on the employees. This means that they have to change their behavior and often also their attitudes. In addition, routines that employees have often developed over many years and that gave them security are often obsolete. The employees have to relearn or relearn. They need support, for example through a corresponding qualification program. Its aim should be to create new thinking and behavioral routines for them. In their development, they should also support their managers as Kata coaches, i.e. as coaches during practice, in everyday work.

See also: Tips for qualification measures

10. Easy to use tools and tools for everyday work

An essential element of almost all change projects for years is: The employees should acquire the competence to recognize and solve problems alone or in a team and to actively use opportunities for improvement. For this purpose, the companies also transfer the necessary powers of action and decision-making to employees at the operational level. They hope that this will enable them to react faster and more flexibly to changes in the market; also, in the medium term, a relief for your managers.

However, so that employees can act more independently and with initiative, they also need easily manageable tools and tools in their everyday work, for example to identify and use opportunities for improvement - such as the PDCA cycle and the A3 report. The company not only has to make these available to them, but also train employees in their use.

11. Quickly presentable first successes

"We want to become the most innovative company in our industry." "We want to become a global player." "We want to become the most customer-oriented company in our market." These are all goals that usually take many years to achieve or that companies can only approach step by step. Accordingly, those involved in such projects, especially if they are also aiming at a culture change, often have the feeling "Nothing is moving", even if the company is on the right track.

This is one of the reasons why partial target planning and the definition of milestones for target achievement in such projects are very important - not only at the company level, but also at the divisional, departmental, team, and even employee level. So that the leadership can announce as often as possible: "We (or you) have not yet reached the big goal, but achieved a sub-goal." Otherwise the energy of change will wane over time. Therefore, those responsible should not only plan such (partial) successes, but also announce and sometimes celebrate with those affected.

12. Perseverance, tenacity and patience

Regardless of this, strategy implementation projects that are also aimed at a culture change in the organization require a lot of perseverance, tenacity and patience from those responsible - precisely because it often takes seemingly endlessly long before the desired new thinking and behavior routines are in the minds of the employees and anchored in the organization. However, because the change is progressing too slowly, those responsible should by no means lapse into an operational hectic that is recognizable for their subordinates, because for such change processes, the bon mot applies: "The grass does not grow faster if you pull on it."

Rather, take suitable measures in your private environment, such as exercise or by reflecting on what is happening with a coach, to ensure that you maintain your inner balance and continue to exude the confidence and serenity that you need to lead employees in change processes. (oe)