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It’s no secret that most strategic plans fail to deliver their intended results. Often, the problem isn’t the strategy, but HOW your strategic vision is implemented.

Here are four ways to successfully execute your strategy, and achieve your goals without burning out your team.

1. Strengthen accountability for results.

Get people focused on the results they need to accomplish, instead of overloading them with to-do lists.

Identify the 4-8 ongoing results for which the person is accountable.

When the desired results are clear, the individual then has tremendous focus. It also makes it easier to set measures and evaluate performance.

You need to connect the strategic vision to each individual’s role and appeal to the individual’s own rational self-interests.

Put in place a clear system for setting accountability, establishing how results will be measured, and managing progress.

2. Strengthen accountability for behavior.

Every business strategy involves some degree of change – in direction, focus, structure, process, or a number of other factors. What makes it successful is how well it’s championed by senior management, both in words and in actions.

You need to make sure your accountability system reinforces the behaviors needed to execute the strategy.

3. Ignite the Passion.

Passion creates a sense of connectedness. It builds a connection between teammates, a link to our human need for meaningful work. It also establishes a connection to each individual’s sense of value and contribution. Igniting passion answers the question: Why are we executing this strategy?

4. Build an employee community that acts like owners.

Companies that are excellent at achieving their strategic goals have developed an employee community who act like owners. They do the right thing because it’s in their own best interests to do so.

The challenge for senior management is, if you want your employees to act like owners, stop treating them like employees.

The key take away here is that you won’t successfully execute your strategic plan by driving – however aggressively – a plan that’s simply layered on top of ‘business as usual.’

Instead, you have to think clearly about accountability, and ensure the entire organization is working together toward.

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