We have all been in those meetings where everyone has great ideas and plans, and as soon as everyone leaves the meeting, the same enthusiasm that was displayed with those great ideas disappears when it comes time to carry them out. Execution should be the first thing on your mind when it’s crunch time, but oftentimes that isn’t the case.
Creating a strategy is about knowing something. Executing a strategy is about doing something. The space between what we know and what we actually do is often fairly large, and when working with a team, the distance between the two can grow in size. Too often when the time comes to execute on plans, we are unfocused, misaligned, or working on other things. You aren’t alone in this–it happens everywhere you go.
Having everyone hyper focused is the key to executing. Everyone should know what their job is and what their plan is to complete that job.
Let’s think of a company as a ship. The ship just doesn’t set sail without a course–it is planned out, just like you creating your strategy. Once your course is set, you have to set clear goals for executing. Create a timeline! The ship can’t be floating around at sea for months with no destination and no captain. Every team needs a leader to make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing. The ship also has first mates, fishermen, chefs, and deckhands, all with a clear purpose to effectively carry out the task at hand. Everyone’s job is vital to the success of the journey, and if one part of the ship cannot execute, it affects the rest of the ship and the crew aboard, just like your strategy that you need to execute.
Once you have all of this down, make sure that the captain is approachable and always available to his crew. As the one who is going to be leading the ship, putting out fires, and making adjustments as needed, you’ll need to make sure that your crew can come to you whenever they need you.
Following up is a key part of executing your strategy to perfection. Keeping communication channels open and being able to ask anyone at any time for a status update enables you to always keep tabs on the overall effectiveness of your digital strategy.
Don’t be afraid of failure and trust your team (or yourself if you are working alone). Don’t be afraid to execute those plans that you have been talking about. If it doesn’t work out the first time, you can always start over!
Don’t let your strategy stay thoughts and ideas, EXECUTE! Make sure that ship stays on course, and before long, you’ll be seeing land.