Here’s the scenario: Two months ago, you walked out of a great strategic planning session with your team thinking, “That was amazing! I am psyched about what we do and what’s coming next! Everyone is motivated to start working on the new strategic initiatives. We had real consensus on those projects and they’re going to have a huge impact.”

And two months later, you’ve seen no evidence of progress. Where did all that energy and motivation go? It’s probably still there; it’s just clouded by the responsibilities they had before the big planning session. These managers were already busy juggling multiple balls (and sometimes grenades or firesticks), and now they have to re-balance their load to make room for the new effort.

The energy and motivation required to organize around the new project may need a boost. And while a strong cup of coffee can help with energy, the local café can’t sell you a cup of motivation. But, you can generate some motivation with a little external encouragement to succeed.

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Create a boost of motivation by making success visible to the team and the boss.

Define Success – Start with solid but simple implementation plans that include necessities: purpose, scope, measurable objectives, milestones, and a timeline. Share each of the plans with the whole executive team and make revisions whenever one project or business line has an impact on another.

Expect Success – After reviewing the plans together, have the CEO approve it. This establishes what a successful outcome looks like and creates accountability to the CEO.

Visibility – Set up a reporting process at regular meetings that makes progress on the new initiatives visible to the team and the CEO.

When the first reports are given with evidence of progress, the accomplishment can be recognized. This naturally generates more desire to produce more success. And, since no one really wants to be in the awkward position of giving a status report showing no progress, they’ll find the time to get the new initiatives implemented. That said, this strategy isn’t about setting anyone up for public embarrassment; the emphasis is on what’s being accomplished.

In my next post on “Facilitating Success on Major Projects,” I’ll share specific strategies for making it easier for team leads to report their successes. Hint: a little preparation on the front end will set your team up to succeed and look good doing it!

#strategicinitiatives #achieveobjectives #success #strategicleadership