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Moving from Strategy to Execution in Partnerships

Here are a few ideas to consider when you are trying to take a Partnership strategy and make it a reality.
Moving from Strategy to Execution in Partnerships

At some point in a Partnership, you will need to take the Big Ideas you have been working on with Partners, and make them happen.

This can be easier said than done.

In today's bottoms-up organizations, it requires consensus, alignment, timing and some senior sponsors to make these visions a reality.

Here are a few ideas to consider when you are trying to take a Partnership strategy and make it a reality.

‌1. Clearly explain "Why" it matters

Get crystal clear on "why" this program is important for your organization, and get good at explaining it to people. This is key to others seeing how they can help, and why they should invest beside you.

2. Find programs and champions with aligned goals

There are likely to be other teams at your company, shooting for the same results, but via different means. Involving these people, and co-creating solutions can help get some momentum behind your Partnership.

3. Brand your Program

Work today is too busy and chaotic for everyone to remember the specifics of each program. Give your idea a memorable name, and it will be easier for folks to remember it, and try and provide support.

4. Brainstorm with others and let them create the plan

Your ideas are likely not the only way, or even the best way, to achieve your aims. Involve others in brainstorming solutions and let them create the plan and approach. Folks will have more ownership if they actually get to shape the work.

5. Co-create SMART goals

One of the first questions you will get from stakeholders is "What are we trying to achieve here?". Get crystal clear on goals so teams will know how they can help.

6. Establish rituals and governance

Use all of the formal approaches that your company may expect. These may include - status reports, governance meetings, new slack channels, etc. Having these in place will make the program more "real".

7. Over-communicate

Don't assume people will read the status reports or Slack channels. Communicate early, often and via different means to keep momentum and discussions moving forward.

8. Celebrate small wins

Anytime you can, celebrate a milestone or win. This shows that the team is making progress and that the bigger goals are achievable.

9. Praise in public

As often as you can, showcase the good work that people on the broader team are doing. This will help folks feel that everyone is contributing and moving in the same direction.

"The temptation to lead as a chess master, controlling each move of the organization, must give way to an approach as a gardener, enabling rather than directing. A gardening approach to leadership is anything but passive. The leader acts as an “Eyes-On, Hands-Off” enabler who creates and maintains an ecosystem in which the organization operates.”
 ―     Stanley McChrystal

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