Well-conceived strategies enable your organization to grow and prosper. Carefully considered strategies keep you one step ahead of your competitors. Great strategies help grow your long-term revenues and make the business successful over time.

In the past few decades, strategy has become increasingly sophisticated and complicated. If you work for a sizable organization, chances are your company has multiple strategies, including ones for innovation, marketing, social media, pricing, employee acquisition and retention, process improvement, learning and growth, financial, and revenue growth.

In our 25 years of experience, no matter how well formulated one’s strategic statements, if one critical piece is ignored… it will almost always cause failure to achieve the organization’s stated objectives.

The answer to that question can be summed up in one word, but more on that in a minute…

Simply put, a strategy can be defined as a business-building activity. Great strategies are aimed at the future, concern the long term, and often involve many facets of the organization. Great strategies answer the question… “How will this business be built over time?”

How then does an organization determine what and how many strategies it needs to achieve its objectives?

By referring back to its mission and vision statements…

Doing that makes it far easier to develop strategies that will have a significant impact on results.

For example, if one’s mission is: We organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful (Google’s), consider what strategies they might employ to achieve that aim. One such strategy (business building activity) based on that mission might be: Use multi-media to promote the company to achieve worldwide recognition and usage.

You will ultimately need a number of strategies to achieve your desired outcomes.

However, strategies require prioritization. There are just so many resources to go around and some strategies will give the company more lift than others. This prioritization process involves the leader’s intuition as well as research. But don’t get bogged down in a paper chase. You know your company better than anyone and, based upon the area in which the strategies are aimed, select the ones that hone in on the target and intent. Keep in mind that changes in strategy can be expensive and can create negative unintended consequences.

So what is the question that must be answered to ensure strategies are implemented?

Is there a dedicated and detailed set of Action plans linked to every strategy in your plan?

The keyword mention at the outset of this post is “linked”…

To fully implement any strategy, you must have a linked (dedicated) action plan attached to it. These action plans spell out what you will do, and who will do it and by what date they will do it. The action plans should be focused only on significant business-building projects and not day-to-day routine tasks. By linking each strategy to a clearly defined Action Plan, you will significantly increase the probability of its success.

A related action plan to the strategy above “Use multi-media to promote the company to achieve worldwide recognition and usage” could Include:  By July 31, implement a combination of multi-media to best convey our message.

This presents a back-to-basics opportunity. By simplifying strategy—by selecting fewer initiatives with greater impact—we can make it more powerful. One Page Business Plan an easy-to-use framework called value-based strategy, which gives executives a common language for evaluating strategic initiatives and developing a bird’s eye view of the many activities taking place within their organizations.

In our work with midsized (and some larger) companies, We’ve observed some key patterns….

When the number of strategic initiatives assigned to anyone executive is limited to those that are most important and are linked to a set of action plans success is much more likely. One way to manage this is to use a One Page Business Plan to limit the number of strategies, objectives, and action plans within any one executive or manager’s span of control and provides a simplified framework from which to track progress towards results!