It’s About People First
In describing the value of strategic planning to our clients, we emphasize the importance of gaining alignment of the 3Ps of success: Plan, Process and People (see AlbuOnStrategy newsletter Spring 2007). Simply put, if the 3Ps are in harmony, it dramatically increases the odds of implementing strategy successfully.
In my opinion, the most important “ P ” of success is People. I propose that two- thirds of success depends on the full commitment and buy-in from all levels
of the organization. Too often I have seen enthusiasm spike to high levels as a result of a great plan, only to fail miserably because leaders were not able to summon the courage and conviction of key employees who drive the plan to success.
To get “People” right, consider:
Leadership – The people at the top, whether they are owners, the CEO or President, need to take ownership of the strategic plan and process. This is not something that can be delegated. You must lead through great listening and communication skills. Commitment, enthusiasm, and energy for the plan will provide the momentum to keep everyone on task and focused on results.
Knowledge – No one knows more about your company than your employees, particularly your key executives. A tremendous amount of knowledge about the company, its products or services, customers and competitors already exists inside your company. It is imperative that the company engage its people in the process to take advantage of this knowledge base.
Direction – It is amazing how simple this concept is—people tend to do their best work when they know what they are working toward. Providing direction, and linking employee tasks to that direction, creates enthusiasm and energy. People like to know they are adding value.
Buy-in and Commitment – Involving your people in the process of developing solutions, from executives to the factory floor, exponentially increases the odds of gaining support from most employees. Not everyone will accept change or buy into the plan, but the greater the number, the greater chance of success.
As Peter Drucker states, “The distinction that marks a plan capable of producing results is the commitment of key people…” Working on specific tasks developed through the process, and established by the plan, nurtures an accountability-based culture focused on results. That is a sign of successful implementation!