By Marsha L. Koelmel, Co-President
Planning for the future and providing a clear plan for how your team will compete and win is essential work for all leadership teams but it’s not enough.
Ensuring that the team is built to succeed, the environment enables success and the tools to do the work are in place are the devilish details that distinguish the best from the rest.
Most planning teams do a good job of outlining a path forward and identifying the financial, technical and operational resources that are needed. However, too many fail to identify and deliberately plan to address the talent gaps that will be barriers to successful execution as well as ensure their culture will support and enable the planned initiatives. That combination is a costly oversight that will stop any implementation team in their tracks.
Here’s how to ensure your plan is complete and your team is prepared to deliver winning results:
Talent – Much like the evaluation you do to determine other resource needs, it is essential that you carefully evaluate the capabilities that your team will need to execute and achieve intended outcomes.
What changes does your plan dictate? Will you be targeting new customer segments? Will you enter new markets? Are you facing new competition?
Consider the specific talent needs that will enable you to successfully make the planned transition and compare that to your current talent inventory. Do you have what you need? Probably not. Can you develop or reposition your current team to fill the gaps, or do you need to acquire new talent? Honest answers to those tough questions are critical for any leader.
Culture – This is the way that work gets done in organizations and is often unspoken. It is also the most difficult to change. However, planting a new and exciting strategy in the wrong culture is like planting a seed in the wrong soil & climate. It doesn’t work. Nothing will grow. Disappointment and frustration is all but assured. If your culture says one thing and your plan says another – culture will win 100% of the time.
Assessing and understanding your current culture is essential so that, as you envision the future, you can determine where it will enable success and where it will be an obstacle for the team. Some key topics to evaluate are decision-making protocols, risk evaluations and tolerance, how and when behaviors are rewarded and what really drives success.
System Alignment – All systems used to attract, develop, communicate, reward and recognize your people must be aligned with the desired culture to ensure that the messages you are sending about what’s expected and how the team is doing, are clear and consistent. If you are changing expectations, the systems & tools that support the new work must be tightly aligned with the new rules.
A plan is only as good as the team that is charged with executing it (talent), the environment that they’re working in (culture) and the tools they have to do the work (aligned systems).
Is your organization strategy-capable?