The key reason why you won't be able to enact your new corporate strategy

Posted by David Miller


Your corporate strategy is well defined, a well thought out strategic business transformation that will take your function to the next level.  The board has signed off, communication across the organization has started and a key implementation team has been formed to start the work required to achieve the strategy.  But this is no guarantee of success.

Too often organizations fail to successfully execute their strategic plan.  Organizations find they have a gap between what they want to deliver and their capability to do so.  A deficiency of available, capable resources results in a lack of bandwidth and ability to deliver. 

Interestingly, it is not specifically missing technical resources ( e.g. IT, Engineering, HR, Marketing) which causes the capability gap but the lack of change management. 

Why Change Management Matters

Strategic change, any change, requires people to change their actions and behavior.  Their willingness to embrace and support the change is key for a successful strategic implementation. 

Communication of intent is not enough.  All too often we find that although employees are aware of the reason to change, they do not support the change.  While it is unrealistic to expect to have 100% support from your employees, without a critical mass of support to change actions and behaviors you risk falling back into the organizational status quo.

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Even in today’s fast paced world, implementing enterprise transformation is generally planned over at least one year; two to three years for many industries.  To keep the momentum throughout this change-lifecycle consistency in approach, building upon lessons learnt and continuing to mature your delivery teams is essential to see it through.

 Buy or build a change capability?

A recent survey of over 2000 change leaders by Changefirst found that 84% of respondents believed that an internal change management capability was the most effective way to successfully implement change strategies.

Building and maturing an internal change management capability gives your organization the long term bandwidth to implement strategic change, provides consistency of approach time after time, supports agility to meet market needs, and ensures alignment and focus of all strategic activities.

This of course can all be done by buying in change management experts.  The buy option provides a fast track to having the skills on hand, but bear in mind that a change capability with the ability to deliver strategic change requires more than just a couple of experts. 

Unless you have very deep pockets, your external expertise will have a finite lifespan.  Without embedding that change management capability into your organization you risk faltering in your strategic implementation part way through as the means and know-how walk out the door.

 How to fast track to start building your internal change capability

Building your internal change capability does not need to be a long term ambition.  By adopting a proven framework, methodology and training you can quickly begin to develop a core change capability.  Using this change management approach to successfully enact your corporate strategy today will in turn help mature and grow your change capability, providing you with the bandwidth and capability to deliver strategic change time after time. 

While you may have the technical and financial resources required to implement your corporate strategy, without a focus on the people aspects of your plan and introducing a structured approach to change management, you are risking the very success of your strategic business transformation.

Read more about how building and maturing an internal change capability helps organizations successfully deliver corporate strategy in our white paper: How to deploy organizational change long term and stay agile in the market.

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Tags: Enterprise Change Management, Strategic implementation, enterprise transformation, strategic business transformation, strategic change, corporate strategy

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