Leaders in organizations responsible for strategy implementation are faced with many substantial obstacles. In my experience, the greatest obstacle being the burden of short term operational goals.
Monthly and quarterly performance targets can weigh heavily on a leaders ability to act and lead in concert with the company’s strategy. Only the leader can resolve this conflict, and in doing so should focus on reconciliation at the execute level. Otherwise, the organization will most likely suffer in both areas.
No strategy can be implemented if the organization isn’t constantly assessing, engaging and developing it’s talent base. People must be able to do the things the strategy calls for, and this requires an understanding of both what is needed and who is in place.
Ironically, in pursuit of short term operational goals, the assessment, training and development of a the workforce is generally one of the first things to get pushed back. Or, there is only emphasis on training, ensuring that the employee can do today’s job to acceptable standards, so that operational goals can be achieved.
Development, however, is more important for strategy implementation – as it is concerned with a vital element of execution – ensuring that your people strategy is aligned with your business strategy. Any strategy is only as good as the people responsible for implementig it. Development ensures that an organization’s strategic direction is supported by the new skills, behaviors, and learning capacity of it’s workforce.
Cutting this critical work in support of short term operational goals is one of the main reasons company’s miss on transfroming strategic initiatives into blockbuter results.