Telephone
517-372-5900

Get COVID-19 updates and resources.

Menu

Improve Your Strategic Execution

This article appeared in the January 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Like the New Year’s resolutions graveyard, the strategy landscape is littered with great ideas that do not reach full potential. What causes strategic initiatives to fail? How can you strategically accomplish more with the resources you have? Following are three frequently experienced barriers to executing strategy and suggested solutions to make your efforts more successful.

Communication

Various strategy studies peg between 90-95 percent of employees do not understand their organization’s key strategies. Just think of all the daily decisions made across your company without a clear understanding of the company’s direction. Pick an initiative that has recently failed, and consider if communication is to blame. To improve communication, publish your strategic initiatives for all to see, stress their importance at the onset and refer back to them throughout the year. Regularly ask individuals throughout the company if they can tell you what the key strategies are. If they cannot, the message is not getting through as intended or is not discussed frequently enough to keep it top of mind. Keep communicating until you are confident all levels of your company know and understand its strategy. Schedule out regular updates and seek feedback on implementation successes and challenges to reinforce its relevance.

Alignment with Compensation

“You get what you pay for” certainly applies when implementing strategy. Your success rate can drop dramatically if you have strategic initiatives not specifically tied to compensation. Establishing strategy-related goals and linking them with compensation clearly communicates the importance to the company and the individual. Given the intense time pressures imposed on most individuals, the shifting of workload or reprioritizing of projects may need to occur to make accomplishing a goal manageable. If tying compensation to specific goals is a new practice, consider starting on a smaller scale and building to larger goals and amounts over time fueled by the success of prior goals.

Navigating Change

The rate of change is ever increasing in not only its pace but also the variety of ways it can affect a company, so the need to change will only continue to heighten. One of the biggest change killers is the passive resister. You know the type, rarely objecting or offering solutions, but as soon as plans are made, they undermine decisions and impede change by either throwing up barriers, or simply not adding their energy to the cause. Active resisters are easier to spot, while the stealth-like nature of a passive resister often makes them more dangerous. The key is to be able to identify change agents and empower them. As for the resisters, change who you can and “neutralize” who you can’t.

If your company struggles with change, I suggest starting with small initiatives and building momentum to larger ones over time. Remember to celebrate successes along the way. Define what represents a win and make sure you acknowledge and reward those results as early and often as you can to keep the energy level high.


Premium Associate MemberManer Costerisan is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been a member company since October 1976. Visit online: www.manercpa.com.

About the Author

Dennis TheisDennis Theis is a CPA and certified value growth advisor and a principal for Maner Costerisan PC. He may be reached at 517-886-9537 or dtheis@manercpa.com.

This article appeared in the January 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Like the New Year’s resolutions graveyard, the strategy landscape is littered with great ideas that do not reach full potential. What causes strategic initiatives to fail? How can you strategically accomplish more with the resources you have? Following are three frequently experienced barriers to executing strategy and suggested solutions to make your efforts more successful.

Communication

Various strategy studies peg between 90-95 percent of employees do not understand their organization’s key strategies. Just think of all the daily decisions made across your company without a clear understanding of the company’s direction. Pick an initiative that has recently failed, and consider if communication is to blame. To improve communication, publish your strategic initiatives for all to see, stress their importance at the onset and refer back to them throughout the year. Regularly ask individuals throughout the company if they can tell you what the key strategies are. If they cannot, the message is not getting through as intended or is not discussed frequently enough to keep it top of mind. Keep communicating until you are confident all levels of your company know and understand its strategy. Schedule out regular updates and seek feedback on implementation successes and challenges to reinforce its relevance.

Alignment with Compensation

“You get what you pay for” certainly applies when implementing strategy. Your success rate can drop dramatically if you have strategic initiatives not specifically tied to compensation. Establishing strategy-related goals and linking them with compensation clearly communicates the importance to the company and the individual. Given the intense time pressures imposed on most individuals, the shifting of workload or reprioritizing of projects may need to occur to make accomplishing a goal manageable. If tying compensation to specific goals is a new practice, consider starting on a smaller scale and building to larger goals and amounts over time fueled by the success of prior goals.

Navigating Change

The rate of change is ever increasing in not only its pace but also the variety of ways it can affect a company, so the need to change will only continue to heighten. One of the biggest change killers is the passive resister. You know the type, rarely objecting or offering solutions, but as soon as plans are made, they undermine decisions and impede change by either throwing up barriers, or simply not adding their energy to the cause. Active resisters are easier to spot, while the stealth-like nature of a passive resister often makes them more dangerous. The key is to be able to identify change agents and empower them. As for the resisters, change who you can and “neutralize” who you can’t.

If your company struggles with change, I suggest starting with small initiatives and building momentum to larger ones over time. Remember to celebrate successes along the way. Define what represents a win and make sure you acknowledge and reward those results as early and often as you can to keep the energy level high.


Premium Associate MemberManer Costerisan is an MMA Premium Associate Member and has been a member company since October 1976. Visit online: www.manercpa.com.

About the Author

Dennis TheisDennis Theis is a CPA and certified value growth advisor and a principal for Maner Costerisan PC. He may be reached at 517-886-9537 or dtheis@manercpa.com.
MFG Forum 2017
Events
MFG Forum 2017
The 2017 MFG Forum will outline the threats, discuss best practices and provide resources for protecting valuable manufacturing assets from cyber attack.
Mfg Excellence Awards 2017
Events
Mfg Excellence Awards 2017
This program recognizes excellence in manufacturing by honoring those who make a positive impact in their community and in their industry.
MFG Forum 2018
Events
MFG Forum 2018
The MFG Forum guides industry leaders through emerging issues like Industry 4.0 and provide resources to maintain Michigan’s manufacturing advantage in the 21st century.
Insurance Forms
Insurance, Internal Page
Insurance Forms
Download and print the forms you need to manage your benefits program.
Manufacturers Recognize Vantage Plastics for Community Impact
News
Manufacturers Recognize Vantage Plastics for Community Impact
MMA is proud to announce that Standish’s Vantage Plastics has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the MFG Community Impact Award.
Manufacturing’s Plan for Michigan
Advocacy
Manufacturing’s Plan for Michigan
Michigan’s economy is growing — but more remains to be done. Discover the industry’s top priorities for the 2017-2018 Legislative Session and help keep manufacturing moving forward.
Reduced UI Taxable Wage Base Available in 2018
Advocacy
Reduced UI Taxable Wage Base Available in 2018
Eligible employers will qualify for a reduced taxable wage base of $9,000 for calendar year 2018 thanks to MMA-supported legislation passed in 2011.
MFG Excellence Awards 2018
Events
MFG Excellence Awards 2018
The MFG Excellence Awards recognizes excellence in manufacturing by honoring those who make a positive impact in their community and in their industry.