In the cable industry, the final mile is connecting the cable system to customers’ homes. It is the most costly part of the entire system, and in many ways the most important. When implementing a strategy, the ‘final mile’ is connecting the strategy to each individual’s objectives. Corporate strategies, objectives, and outcomes are pointless unless people are actively working toward them. Yet in many companies, little is done to make the connection. Instead, the strategic plans get put in binders for senior managers and everyone else continues to do their jobs in ways that might support or conflict with the strategy.
To go the final mile, involves a few very practical steps.
- First you need a strategy that is clear and cogent (many aren’t.)
- Second, the strategy needs to be communicated (I know of three CEOs who think their strategies are too confidential to tell their organizations.)
- Third, you need managers who understand it, can articulate it, and have the skill and motivation to connect it to each individual’s objectives.
- Finally, you need ongoing reinforcement and monitoring—not once a year, but at least monthly. Successful companies make sure to connect the final mile because that’s where the power is.
What is your process for the final mile?