Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

3 Must Do’s to Activate Your Strategy

Posted by Lydia Carson on Dec 16, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Leaders and employees often express dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of their company’s strategic planning process.  Clearly, it’s a problem if there is no strategy, but even when leadership has developed a strategy, too often it’s not properly “activated.”

In order to effectively activate a strategy, at a minimum, don’t overlook innovationStrategyImage.jpegthese 3 “Must Do’s”:

  1. Conduct internal and external research to help gain confidence.  Leaders can be reluctant to set a specific and clear strategy due to lack of confidence in picking “the right thing to do.”  Taking the time to identify the areas where confidence is low and conducting some research that can be summarized and shared with the leadership team can help alleviate stress and gain buy-in.
  2. Engage a cross section of leaders at all levels - from first level managers to board members - and across all departments to come together to help clearly define the strategy.  This a) ensures longer and shorter term perspectives, as well as perspectives from different areas of the business, are considered, and b) helps get broad leadership buy-in, which is critical for fast implementation of innovative ideas developed to address the strategy.
  3. Clearly define your strategy with language that motivates employees to take action, with clarity on:  a) Why they should go “all in”; b) What you Want and what you Don’t Want; and c) Some starting places for exploration.  Without a clear, motivating request for employees to help implement your strategy, they won’t know what to do and why they should bother.

There is, of course, more to do to realize big results to your strategy, but remembering these 3 Must Do’s will get you started in the right direction.

Topics: innovation

Lydia Carson

Written by Lydia Carson

Lydia is the Vice President of Innovation Engineering Systems at Eureka! Ranch. She is a straight shooter who is known for getting the job done and is excellent in her skill for helping others succeed. Around the Ranch she is known for her laser focus. Prior to joining the Ranch, Lydia’s corporate experience included working for Lexmark International and Ford Motor Company. Since joining the Ranch, she’s helped a diverse group of companies create breakthrough new products, services, and systems. To name just a few: Tyson Foods, Bush Brothers, Walmart, Pon, GOJO, The Edrington Group, Humana, and Toyota. Lydia received a mechanical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Executive MBA program. She is passionate about learning and has received numerous certifications, including Innovation Engineering Black Belt and Six Sigma Black Belt. She received Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) training – which introduced the Jobs to be Done approach – from Tony Ulwick in 2006. Lydia applies her broad skills and experience when tackling any challenge that comes her way. Lydia is a lover of sailing and baseball who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband Paul and two kids.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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