Is strategy or implementation more important? Yes! That’s a slightly nonsensical way of saying that these two components are so critical and dependent upon each other that both must be successful for your well-crafted plan to become a reality. For that to happen, strategy and implementation must be driven from the same level within the organization.
Even organizations that are good at execution and consistently get projects done on time can find that they are not moving toward their strategic goals as planned. The missing link is strategic implementation. Strategic implementation means that the strategy drives what the institution does and how it gets done, which in turn results in successful strategic implementation.
This isn’t a matter of simply choosing projects that support the strategic plan. That’s a given. Taking strategic implementation to the next level requires the team to keep strategy in sight at all times. For example, too often we hear that new systems have been put in place but aren’t delivering as anticipated. This could be the result of the credit union focusing on getting the system in place rather than implementing it in such a way as to further the strategy. A newly launched loan origination system that does not result in the desired strategy of a simpler member experience would fall into this category. The strategy can get lost when it is not the driving force behind decisions made every step of the way.
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