Don’t Overcomplicate Your Strategic Plan Implementation

We all know developing a strategic plan is hard. We also know, implementing a strategic plan successfully is brutal. So don’t make your implementation process more difficult than it already will be. Keep it simple and focused on the results you want.

Don’t make your implementation process more difficult than it already will be. Keep it simple and focused on the results you want.

There is a common thread that runs through client scenarios when I’m told, “We can’t implement our strategic plan! It’s too much! There are too many moving pieces! Everyone acts like they don’t know what’s going on or what to do. They’re not taking ownership of their piece of the plan!” (Does that sound at all familiar to you?) In situations like this, the common thread often runs in one of two directions:

  1. Either the client does nothing and lets the plan die, or
  2. The client starts to focus on HOW they’ll track and monitor the plan’s implementation more than WHAT they’re going to do to achieve the objectives they want and need.

In the first scenario, inevitably planning consultants are blamed for guiding the creation of an overly-complicated plan, managers are blamed for not taking ownership of the plan, morale tanks, and the value of strategic planning gets another black eye in the minds of those who were part of the planning process. But the plan wasn’t and isn’t the problem. The non-existent implementation process is the problem.

In the second scenario, the client becomes more engrossed with building and scaling a strategic planning project management and tracking infrastructure than they are with working with the department heads about HOW they’re going to get things done, WHAT help they need to meet the needed objectives, and WHEN they need additional information, support, and resources. They become more concerned with tracking who is and is not meeting deadlines and tracking data to place blame than they are with working to collaboratively succeed. As a result, implementation doesn’t occur because too many initial deadlines are being missed as the plan tracking infrastructure is being developed. Again, the plan wasn’t and isn’t the problem. The overly-complicated implementation process is the problem.

Non-existent or overly-complicated implementation processes are often the reason strategic plan implementations fail.

Now, are implementation plans needed? Absolutely! Do some need to be complex? Obviously, but does yours? If it doesn’t need to be complicated, why not focus on simply setting a cadence to meet regularly and manage the plan and its implementation? Communicate with and meet regularly (i.e., monthly if not at least quarterly), with your plan’s key players to update everyone on key aspects of the plan, hear from everyone who has an issue, challenge, or needs help from one or more teams represented, note where actions are on track, of concern, or need immediate attention, and identify key next steps that will impact across teams. Keep it simple and focus on what matters: Working together to achieve what you all determined were the important objectives to focus on.

Focus on that. Don’t over complicate your strategic plan, its implementation, or your focus.


Copyright MMXXIV – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – +1.717.597.8890

Liz Weber is an advisor to boards of directors, business owners, and C-Suite leaders. She’s a leadership, strategic and succession planning consultant, speaker, and author. She helps her clients focus on the right things at the right times to get the right impact. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

Liz Weber CMC CSP

Liz Weber CMC

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.



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