Three Winning Strategies To Convert Organizational Intentions Into Action

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Good intentions don’t move mountains. Bulldozers do.

You’ve probably heard that old saying. There’s great truth to it.

The Mission And The Plan

For many organizations, the mission and the plan–if that’s all there is–are nothing more than good intentions.

Many leaders spend great time and resources helping their teams plan for the future. Afterwards, everyone feels virtuous.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than an intellectual exercise.

Once the mission and plan are finalized, they are fastened in a three ring binder that’s strategically placed on a shelf for all to see. Usually, that’s where they stay to collect dust.

Converting Intentions Into Strategies

Until an organization’s team converts those plans into actual work, they’ve done nothing.

Intentions are something you hope for. They are the target without the work.

Strategies are something you work for. They convert intention into action. Busyness into work.

Strategies lead you to work for results. They are action-focused.

Strategies are the bulldozers that move mountains. They convert what you want to do into accomplishments.

Winning Strategy #1: Continuous Improvement

Americans often downplay the strategy of improving what they already do well.

We frequently overlook the importance of improving the process, improving the experience, improving the service, improving the efficiency, improving the effectiveness. We settle for average, ordinary, common, status quo.

We justify our lack of improvement by saying, “Our customers buy it. So why should we improve it?”

Constant improvement means abandoning the things that no longer work. Where are we going to do something different? Where are we going to do the same thing quite differently?

Winning Strategy #2: Abandoning Old For New

Sometimes patching up the old rather than going for the new is a mistake.

Sometimes we have to say, “Enough is enough. Let’s stop improving. We’ve put as many patches on those jeans as we can. It’s time to design something new.”

Leaders need to avoid saying, “This is how we do it. It has worked for us many times in the past so it must be the right way.”

Instead we should say, “Maybe this needs to be done differently. Let’s not start with what we know. Let’s start with what we need to learn.”

When a strategy doesn’t seem to work, follow this rule: “If at first you don’t succeed, try once more. If it still doesn’t work, try something else.”

Winning Strategy #3: Refocus And Change Following Success

When your organization is successful, it’s time to refocus and change.

When everyone says, “Don’t rock the boat. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That’s the time you need to say, “Let’s improve it.”

Why? If you don’t improve it, someone else will. And then you’ll lose.

Organizations that rest on their past success are the ones that get into trouble.

Leaders must train themselves to look out the window for what’s next. They must look for change.

Successful leaders look outside first for change and opportunity. Then they look inside their organization. They don’t see change as a threat. They see change as an opportunity.

Very few organizations see their success as a call to action. Does yours?

What are some additional winning strategies that you would add to this list? Why should organizations look at change following success?

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  1. Sometimes patching up the old rather than going for the new is a mistake.

    This is a key issue many organizations struggle with as they have not developed a process and/or the metrics for deciding when to give a fresh coat of paint to the old rather than opting for the completely new.

    It’s a great question both both staff and volunteer leaders to develop an answer to: how will we decide which option to pursue?

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I love that question: How we will decide which option, patch it or get something new, to pursue. Great addition for association staff and leaders.

  2. […] Three Winning Strategies To Convert Organizational Intentions Into Action Good intentions don't move mountains. Bulldozers do. For many orgs, the mission and plan are just good intentions.Here are 3 strategies to help. Source: […]

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