Making Strategic Initiatives Succeed

By November 23, 2015Articles, Leadership
A strategic initiative is the set of actions one takes to close the gap between one’s current situation and one’s future vision. Making your business’s strategic initiatives work is key.  Business in the 21st century requires agility and adaptability. So failure to deliver on strategic initiatives will mean your organisation will struggle to survive as the competition continues to improve. Put another way, organisations that are able to make their strategic initiatives succeed all the time will be more profitable and will be more highly valued that those that don’t.

Strategic Initiatives Challenge

Almost by definition, a strategic initiative will be a stretch for all concerned. It will be a major change in the way things are done and will have an impact on all those involved. So, easy – it’s not. In many SME’s either strategic initiatives are never undertaken or they are abandoned part-way through or they simply fizzle out.

So why is this?

Here are the main reasons behind the failure of strategic initiatives:
  1. An absence of “Intent Mindset” To execute successfully requires a comprehensive approach and mindset. A relentlessness and commitment to outcomes that defines the entire process.
  2. LAck of stakeholder buy-in. All key people have to be involved and fully subscribed to the entire process; from conceptualisation through planning and implementation. Naysayers and stragglers need to be brought on-board and evangelised.
  3. Effective ongoing communication. The initiative’s goals and implementation progress needs to be properly communicated to both management and staff throughout the process. In addition proper communication and coordination must be maintained to keep everything on track and milestones achieved.
  4. Inadequate resource allocation. Strategic initiatives have to be implemented while the business continues its regular operations. Without providing additional resources to deal with the added workload, the process will struggle for oxygen.
  5. Management of change. Any change initiative will require people to change what they do or perhaps even switch jobs.  This will need work. Most people are change averse and will produce various forms of resistance that will need to be overcome.

When you look at these 5 points it looks pretty straight forward – almost common sense!  But what what looks simple on paper does not translate to simple in practise, otherwise this would not be the challenge that it really is.



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