In the current economy businesses face many problems thus decisive solutions are very necessary for their survival. This involves making of vital decisions that need to be addressed and evaluated well before they are incorporated into the business setting. These decisions include the business plans. A strategic plan provides a business with the roadmap it needs to pursue a specific strategic direction and set of performance goals. Implementation is the process that turns these set strategic plans into actions in order to accomplish strategic objectives and goals. Strategy implementation is the transformation of chosen strategy into organizational action in order to achieve strategic goals and objectives that lead to competitive advantage and a better performance. It addresses the who, where, when and how questions, regarding the plans. This essay explores strategy implementation and the hurdles entrepreneurs and CEOs face in this process.
A good strategy implementation requires able leadership, adequate resources, correct policies and a high level of focus. This process actually tests the ability of the managers in terms of skills, leadership, and worker motivation, change of the organizational structure and culture of the organization in order to achieve the set strategy. These factors make up the issues to be looked up in implementation strategy. Majority of the challenges in strategy are as a result of failures in the implementation process rather than at the formulation of the strategy itself (Woolridge and Floyd, 1990).Strategy implementation remains very critical yet the most difficult phase in strategic management process, even a good strategy would may fail if the implementation process is not appropriately planned and well executed. Companies that compete in a given industry must therefore handle these issues appropriately.
For a strategic implementation to be successful, a good incorporation of employees must be designed. Making of strategies does not automatically mean that the subordinate will cooperate fully up to its implementation. Each employee must be given a responsibility. This process includes all the organization's stakeholders including the most junior employees, therefore good communication is very essential in order to motivate and convince the employees to be focused and remain committed to their responsibilities. Lack of communication negatively affects implementation of the strategies. All employees may not have the same interpretation of the new strategy. It will take a good management system to persuade the workers about the advantages and rewards of the strategy. Office politics and bad attitude of some employees to ruin the whole processes must be detected early enough and resolution made.
A strong internal leadership in very essential in order to drive strategy implementation. The leaders must be competent so as to organize the day to day activities efficiently. The CEO should act as the role model for others to imitate. Leadership abilities can be seen in terms of their past experience, problem-solving techniques, personal relationship within the organization, style of leadership and administrative capabilities. Leadership should be fair to all stakeholders and all dealings should be ethical. As confirmed in the saying, actions speaks louder than words, able internal leadership motivates and organize employees thus implementation process becomes easy. This automatically drives to success.
A good information and communication network should be installed to facilitate the flow of information between all the stakeholders. An organization can use an innovative and technology advanced system to be a competitive advantage. Accurate information is important in decision making. Appropriate and timely decisions are very critical in solving daily problems the organization faces. With good procedures, the organization will be able utilize the available opportunities and turn its weaknesses into strengths.
The CEOs must build teams with competences and capabilities that support the current business strategy. Putting a strong management system will attract employees with the required experiences and technical skills. Hiring of competent employees and retaining the current competent ones create a strong team that competitors can not duplicate. An organization with strong, experienced and skilled employees gains a competitive advantage over others. This will definately improve the quality of services and/or goods produced the given organization. A large market of clients will be realized, hence business growth and expansion.
Resources are very necessary if an organization is to be successful. The organization need to have sufficient funds and enough time to support implementation. Resources can be in terms of funds and/or time that will enable the employees to achieve a goal, a clear identification of expenses associated with a tactic. Room for change in the occurrences of any uncertainty must be created. The employees must also have enough time to implement what may be additional activities that they aren’t currently performing. The required resources during implementation should be available, and located to activities that lead to the strategic goals.Often, true costs are underestimated or not identified. Giving little resources leads to failure of achieving the set goals, moreover over approximation lead to wastage of resources. Resources allocated should therefore be realistic as per the requirements of the strategy.
The CEO should establish relevant policies that promote the implementation of the strategy. This policies can be obtained by forming new or revising the existing policies . Changes should be in the internal operations of the organization. Although these may result into confusion and anxiety among the employees, there is need to convince them on their benefits if evaluated. Performance objectives should be defined and rewards and incentives given. The CEO must understand what motivates each employee and provide monetary and non-monetary incentives. Reward system helps in bringing up employee commitment to the organization as they will motivate and those who excel well in their area of work will feel recognized. This practice will push for continuous improvement in quality of services provided by the employees.
The CEO should develop a friendly work culture and an environment that support the strategy. Creation of an environment that connects employees to the organization’s mission and that makes them feel comfortable is a key tool of the organization’s success. A good environment will promote the implementation process. An organization should have its own way of doing things, for instance, how it reacts to certain problems and what it believes. A progress report should be kept in order to encourage stakeholders. New employees should be screened and educated on the organization's culture. The CEO should support this culture and recruit competent employees who have the values as that of the organization.
A good strategic implementation gives the organization an advantage over others. This can be realized through increased customers, profits, expansions and others growth indicators. It also makes the business gain knowledge about the targeted group (customers), hence raise their objectives with a view of attracting more clients. Another advantage is that it provides a clear and actionable direction for the organization. The organization is able to foresee future changes and thus make correct decisions timely, the organization is also able to realize and capture opportunities. Having effective communication system also facilitates understanding among stakeholders in the organization.
Some of the demerits are: First, the results are long-term. Immediate business solutions may not achieved in time. Also, be it may lead to high operational cost. Paying of employees, providing the required resources, reward systems and other expenses makes this process expensive. Follow up attention is also required in order to make sure everything is in line as outlined. This may consume the CEO time, which he or she may have put in useful work.