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Why Implementation Matters

Strategy is a popular subject in business schools: it has a certain air of intelligence and sophistication about it.  But it’s a term that’s overused without being well understood.  If a poll were to be conducted, most business school students would probably not be able to give a proper definition of what “Strategy” is.  And they certainly wouldn’t be able to explain how strategy alone doesn’t bring about business success.

“Implementation” is another term everyone thinks they understand, but it has significantly less excitement about it and so it gets a lot less little attention.   While the topic deserves a book rather than a short article, let’s take a simple look at why business implementation is, in fact, as important as strategy.

Don’t Bother Me with Details!

Imagine you have a great idea on Monday morning:  You decide to spend the upcoming weekend on the Mayan Rivera.  Your plan doesn’t have a single flaw and brings benefits from all sides – you can financially afford it, you’ll get a well-deserved rest, spend quality time with your significant other, get a lot of the Vitamin D you’ve been lacking, and best of all, you’ll have the perfect excuse to skip that family gathering you’ve been dreading.  So, you get really excited and… do nothing about it all week. 

By the time Friday rolls around, it’s too late to put the plan in motion, and on Saturday, instead of listening to the soothing sounds of waves while drinking a frozen daiquiri, you are listening to your uncle’s terrible jokes and eating your sister-in-law’s dry meatloaf.

This is a very simple example of a great strategy…with no implementation; and it well illustrates why the two are equally important components of any successful plan. 

Simply put, without implementation, a great strategy bears no value.

Let’s Talk About Business

The business world equivalent of this situation occurs on a regular basis but on a much more complex level.   Not taking anything away from the importance and complexity of determining where a company needs to be in five or ten years, that vision is useless without these four implementation steps:   

  1. Putting together a detailed plan of how to get from the current state to the envisioned future state;
  2. Setting the proverbial wheels in motion;
  3. Providing feedback and making adjustments to the strategy as its implementation rolls out; and
  4. Seeing the plan through to successful completion.

These steps are, of course, a very simple outline, and each needs to be broken down into myriad specific and necessary activities.  But the overall idea remains that taking these steps means implementing the great strategy your company has developed and putting your business on the path to success.

Can One Make A Career of Implementation?

A recent study of CEO LinkedIn profiles revealed that a good number of CEOs held positions related to implementation as their first job, with the most popular one being a consultant.  While there is no set path that guarantees career success, and not everyone is cut out to be – or aspires to be – a CEO, being a management consultant in implementation clearly holds promising opportunities.

Trindent Consulting offers stellar opportunities in business implementation consulting, with room for growth and potential to learn the implementation ropes and further develop top consulting skills.  

Visit our careers page for more information.