What are Strategic Action Plans?
Action plans refer to definite actions that are related to either short- or longer-term strategic goals. Action plans should include details of resource commitments, allocation and time horizons for accomplishment. Action plan development represents the key stage in planning that facilitates effective communication of plans throughout the organization followed by resource planning and deployment. Action plans are also referred to as projects, strategies, tactics, or initiatives.
Plans in paper may look more creative and feasible in nature; in reality it is a big quest unanswered. Are executives showing the same kind of enthusiasm in giving shape to the plans they charted out in paper? Most plans fail or do not give the expected optimum results and the reasons attributed may be listed out as follows:
1. Authority is delegated but Responsibility is forgotten: #Senior management executives are the STRATEGIC DECISION-BRAHMAS obviously but do they demonstrate what needs to be done? Demonstration is one of the powerful forms of communication and if the strategies are only to be communicated down the line and not to be followed by the senior officials how do you expect your team to perform efficiently?
2. Confusion between #strategy and Ideas: An idea is a conceptual construct about a particular thing. It is more abstract in nature. But when it comes to strategy, you need to have a solid FUTURISTIC action plan that is bound to give you the desired results in the long term. The elements essential for a good action plan are
3. Dis-Orientation of Senior Leaders: If a senior leader reaches that higher position through internal promotion, he loses touch with day-to-day activities though he has a strong contextual understanding of the business. If a senior #management leader happens to reach the top through external recruitment, it takes time for him to understand the business and the nature and needs of the organization. Only few leaders are capable of devising action plans that exactly nails the problem-situation (as we all know when an organization is looking for a turn around, the first blow is to the CEO of the organization).
4. Laissez Faire attitude doesn’t work out for strategic action plans: A senior leader has to monitor an action plan from the start till the end until the expected result is achieved. No strategy succeeds without a visionary in the background. The passion that a leader exudes is overwhelmingly infectious and motivates the team to complete a project. Here the leader is the initiator who is involved throughout strategic planning process so that momentum is sustained during the critical transition from planning to action.
5. There might be one good goal but definitely no one good strategy: Understand strategies are subjected to change in accordance with the internal and external environment. Say, you have invested quite a good amount of money in shares of a particular reputed company and you come to know that there is a senior level management leadership change and feelers are that prices are likely to crash. What will you do?
Just being able to conceive bold new strategies is not enough. The management must also be able to translate its strategic vision into concrete steps that is “getting things done”.