Can you make the leap from strategy to action?

By Sarah Hamilton, People Puzzles.
A clear vision and well-defined commercial strategy forms a great roadmap for growth, but does your team have the traction, capability, tenacity & tools to reach the destination?
Published in UK Director Magazines Summer 2024

Helping Your Business Thrive: Sarah Hamilton, People Puzzles

As a business reaches different growth milestones, the challenges and obstacles it faces will change. Being a business leader, you probably already have a plan for at least the next 12 months, but do you know how to embed the necessary people element over the next two to three years? Knowing how to take your strategy from words on a page to an achievable action plan is crucial.

Seven steps to success

  1. Start with strategy: A people strategy must start with the business strategy. Where does the business want to be in two, three, five years’ time? Where do you, as MD, CEO, or owner, want to be? What are the key drivers and barriers to growth? Do you have a senior leadership team in place, all aligned with the plan?
  2. Sort the structure: Having the right people in the right seats is essential. You therefore need to consider the roles required in the longer term and then start mapping out who fits where.
  3. Plan your processes: An often-overlooked part of commercial success is carefully planning the processes underpinning it – including recruitment, onboarding, learning platforms, HR measurement platforms, IT systems, comms platforms etc. A lot of time gets wasted through inefficient processes.
  4. Talent transformation: Recruitment. Retention. Development. How do you attract and keep the best people, upskill your teams, and prepare them for the future?
  5. Leverage leadership: Leadership plays a vital role in delivering your vision and uniting your people behind a common goal, so they’re all in the right seats and pulling in the right direction. Invest in it.
  6. Communication: Brilliant strategies, plans, and processes are useless if no-one knows about them. Don’t underestimate the importance of great communication (even if the news isn’t all good!).
  7. Apply the model – everywhere: Arguably the most important element for turning your strategy into action. Ensure your goals and approach within each area of the business are consistent. We use our ‘orbit wheel’ to define growth drivers, obstacles, and goals in every department, so each team understands their team objectives and how their individual performance impacts them.

Engagement hinges on involvement

When your team understands their aims, and how their everyday actions impact progress towards those aims, it’s incredibly motivating. By breaking down strategies into specific, measurable goals (yes, SMART is still a thing), it’s much easier to maintain personal accountability throughout your business, down to the most granular level.

They say the devil is in the detail, but really, the details of individual target setting are how you create true traction across your teams and get everyone in the business aligned behind the biggest goals.

Can you make the leap from strategy to action? 1


Can you make the leap from strategy to action? 5Measure the effectiveness of your people planning with the People Strategy Scorecard – scan the QR code for your free report.
Sarah Hamilton is Eastern Regional Director at People Puzzles.
T: 0345 646 5201
Or visit 

Share This

Sign up for your free copy of the magazine

Sign up to receive your free hard copy or E-Copy of the magazine by post or email.