Written by: Greg Weiss
Seeking the expertise of external consultants or coaches is a common practice among businesses seeking to enhance their operations and achieve growth objectives. However, the true challenge often lies in effectively implementing the strategies developed during these external engagements.
The success of any business change or improvement process hinges on the right internal resources – individuals capable of integrating and executing strategies in a sustainable manner.
The Post-Consultation Implementation Gap
The departure of a consultant often marks the beginning of an organization’s journey to put plans into action. While the consultant may have provided valuable insights and recommendations, the lack of ongoing external guidance can leave organizations feeling uncertain and unprepared to navigate the implementation phase.
This is where the importance of competent internal staff becomes increasingly evident.
The Critical Importance of Internal Resource Allocation and Ownership
Effective implementation requires dedicated internal personnel who can take ownership of the strategies developed during external engagements. While fractional or temporary integrators may provide some level of support, their limited involvement often proves insufficient to ensure consistent progress and long-term success.
Businesses should prioritize allocating the necessary internal resources, including senior-level staff, to steer new initiatives and guide the organization towards achieving its strategic objectives.
Skills and Team Alignment
The success of new initiatives relies heavily on the skills and alignment of the team tasked with implementation. Without internal personnel possessing the requisite expertise and a shared understanding of the strategies, implementation efforts may falter, leading to missed opportunities and potential setbacks.
Organizations should focus on developing internal capabilities through training, mentorship, and cross-functional collaboration to ensure that their teams are equipped to handle the complexities of strategy implementation.
Risks and Consequences of Poor Implementation
The consequences of poor implementation can be severe, leading to staff demotivation, financial losses, and missed opportunities for growth.
Organizations that fail to effectively transition from external consultation to internal execution risk losing momentum, jeopardizing their competitive edge and overall success.
Strategies for Overcoming Implementation Challenges
To address these risks and ensure effective strategy implementation, businesses should focus on developing internal capabilities in the following areas:
Cultivating Internal Expertise: Invest in training and development programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of internal staff, ensuring they possess the expertise necessary to implement new strategies effectively.
Designating Specific Roles: Clearly define roles and responsibilities within the organization to ensure that there is clear ownership and accountability for implementing new initiatives.
Fostering Collaboration and Communication: Encourage open communication and collaboration among internal teams to break down silos and promote a shared understanding of the strategies and their implementation goals.
Establishing Efficient Processes: Develop and integrate efficient processes that align with the organization’s overall strategic objectives. This involves mapping out each step of the strategy, identifying potential bottlenecks, and ensuring seamless transitions between different phases of implementation.
Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation: Regularly assess the effectiveness of implemented strategies and be willing to make necessary adjustments based on feedback and performance data.
The Limitations of Fractional Integrators
While employing a fractional integrator can provide short to medium-term support during the initial stages of strategy implementation, it often lacks the long-term resourcing necessary for sustained success. Fractional integrators may have an appreciation of the organization’s culture, nuances, and unique challenges, but they do not have direct accountability which can limit their ability to effectively guide the implementation process.
Businesses should aim to develop internal leaders capable of understanding, adapting, and driving strategies that are tailored to the organization’s specific context.
Building Robust Internal Leadership
Strong internal leadership is crucial for maintaining change and ensuring that new initiatives are embedded into the organization’s fabric.
Internal leaders should be empowered to make decisions, motivate their teams, and navigate the challenges that inevitably arise during the implementation process.
Emphasizing Process Integration
Process integration is a critical aspect of successful strategy implementation. It involves aligning and streamlining the organization’s various processes to ensure that they support the execution of new strategies.
Internal teams, with their intimate knowledge of the organization’s workings, are best positioned to identify opportunities for process integration and implement changes that support the seamless flow of work.
Effective implementation of strategies post-consultation is a complex task that requires a strategic and consistent internal approach. It involves a combination of strategic internal planning, skill development, strong leadership, and a culture of accountability and collaboration.
By focusing on building internal teams capable of integrating and executing strategies, especially through effective process integration, businesses can ensure long-term success, growth, and adaptability in the ever-changing business landscape.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg authored 3 practical Career Books, and 1 Book helping Visionary leaders scale their businesses. He is one of Australia’s most experienced HR consultants and leading career coaches. He is the founder and owner of Soulidify and Career365. As an entrepreneur/business owner, Greg has experienced first-hand the joys and frustrations of starting and growing one’s own business.