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Why You Need to Tie Resource Allocation to Strategy Implementation

By Anthony Taylor - February 04, 2022

Don't forget to think about this when you're implementing your strategic plan.

My name is Anthony Taylor, and today I want to talk to you about a critical piece of the strategic planning puzzle that will dictate your team's certainty and ability to implement your plan. It's fundamentally resource allocation, as it relates to your implementation.

So my name is Anthony, I facilitate strategic planning sessions. And our team supports implementation of strategic plans for organizations around Canada and the US. If you're a CEO, today I want to talk to you about important considerations for resource allocation for your strategic plan.

So let's take a step back, let's imagine that you and your team went through the process of creating a strategic plan, whether you did that virtually or online, and you've got your vision of where you want to get to in three years. You've got your mission, you've got your top three strategic priorities, you've got all of your goals within each of those priorities, and you've got your actions. And that's kind of like an ideal strategic plan set up. You also have your communication plan on how you're going to roll that out, and what you're going to do to stay on top of it. In another ideal world, you have regular check-ins for your strategic plan, you've allocated when your team is going to meet, you've probably attached some budget for meeting space, and for professional services, support and for accountability and follow up. Those are all the stuff and all the things that you need to do.

Now, what you might not have considered, maybe because it's not just your lens, is how much it's going to cost you to accomplish your strategic plan. So you have your fixed costs, your day-to-day, everybody's salary, all of your time, etc. But then all of the elements of your strategic plan are going to cost you money. Now, when I say they're going to cost you money, they're gonna cost you time, they're gonna cost you energy, they're gonna cost you focus. But for you to be able to successfully implement your plan, you need to properly allocate resources to get it there.

So one of the analogies that I think about is this: Let's say you're in a vehicle, and you need to drive 500 miles. Okay? Well, if you only have enough money to do 300 miles worth of gas, you know what's going to happen. Either you make a plan to make more money to pay for the gas to get you where you want to go, or you need to scale back your vision. And so what I'm trying to share this for is so that as you go through your planning process, and you set that big picture vision, that you and your team have the same expectations and understandings as to what it's going to take to get you across the finish line. And beyond that.

And so the resources it's going to take to implement your plan successfully are going to come in a lot of different forms. There's just pure money. Hey, we need to make investments over here, we need to buy a business over here, we need to hire 50 more people, well, there's going to be a huge headcount there. There's time. Time to implement projects, time to talk about the strategy, time to communicate with the team, time to communicate with the employees. And then there's focus. Hey, we're going to focus over here, we're not going to focus over there. We're going to sunset some of these projects, so that we can put our energy towards these. And so all of these need to be considerations to make sure that you're sufficiently giving your team the resources to implement the plan.

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If you're under-resourcing your team, then you're going to be frustrated, because you're not going to get success. They're going to be frustrated, because they're not set up for success either. And then both of you are going to be frustrated, not because the plan was bad but because the resource allocation was bad, or not sufficient to help you accomplish your goals.
So once you have that endpoint in mind of where you want to go, your One Destination, once you have your strategic priorities, it's important to break down each of those strategic priorities or actions or goals or projects or what however you want to call it. And try to tie that into your funding process so that you can create a budget for each.

Now, one critical component that we haven't talked about. So far, we've been looking at all of these expenses - I'm spending here, I'm spending here, we're not just throwing money into a bottomless pit. They're investments. And so when we think strategically, we have to say, Hey, what are the best investments we can make in our team? When we're investing in people, it's to create capacity. When we're investing in systems, it's to create continuity and foundation. When we're investing in communication, it's to reduce mistakes and improve morale. When we're investing in marketing and sales it's to grow top line and to bring more funds into the business. So there's two ways of looking at it. Spend spend, spend, invest, invest, invest, and however you approach that is going to determine how ready you are to be able to accomplish your strategic plan.

And don't forget about your team. Your team is the engine that is going to be driving your strategic plan forward. And if you're not investing in their ability, if you're not investing in their capacity, if you're not investing in your team's time to work on the plan, well, it's going to be not very likely that you're going to accomplish your goals. Because they're going to be at this level, and they need to be at that level.

So whether you do it internally, whether you do it with an outside consultant or facilitator or support team, you know, make sure that you don't underestimate the importance of investing in your team as you go on that strategic planning journey. So for you and your CFO to feel happy, make sure that you tie in your budgeting process, your resource allocation process to your strategic priorities, and your vision. It'll give you a greater sense of comfort of what's going to be required. And it's going to give your team a greater sense of ownership to understand hey, how are these decisions and sometimes wishful thinking or ideal scenarios that come up in a strategic planning process.. How do they translate into dollars and people and time and focus, so that the gap between expectations is smaller, and that your team has a greater likelihood of success?

So I'd love to hear what you thought of today's video. Just appreciate you watching. Be sure to like and subscribe for more content on strategy and implementation. And if you liked this, we also have our Strategy & Leadership Podcast, where we interview senior leaders to talk about amazing subjects on strategy, implementation, leadership, team development, and other considerations as you go along your strategy implementation journey.

My name is Anthony Taylor. Thanks for watching. We'll see you again.

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