The future of the organization was set.  After many months of research, reflection and decision making, it was decided that the right path was to acquire our primary competitor.   They were open to the idea, the market seemed ready for a larger and stronger player, the synergy we would produce looked great and the potential for new and innovative growth was clear.

It all looked good – expect for two issues.  We did not have everyone onside within the ranks and if we made the deal, it looked like we did not have the right people to lead a few of the key areas.

This is a very common situation that many organizations have faced and will face, in the quest to set a new direction.  90% of the boxes were ticked except the ones related to the team.  And this can lead to disaster. 

You need the right people and the right team in place to make any critical plan work – especially if it produces change for the organization, its customers, key stakeholders and employees.

So, what do you do if all of these boxes are not ticked?  Go or no-go?

The answer, of course, is… it depends.  Every situation is different.

For starters, if you have not got buy-in from all of your senior leadership team then you have to fix this immediately.  Take the nay-sayers aside and start selling.   Give it your best.  Focus on  the benefits to the organization, the marketplace and especially to employees.

If you can bring them around, congratulations.  If not, the next step is easier.  Get rid of them. 

This is exactly what a major organization in my life did as they embarked on a very large transformation of the business – a shake-up starting at the roots. A few key leaders would not buy-in and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. The plan was set and this issue was not going to stop the plan.  They cut fast; letting key people go to ensure that the plan had the right support at the senior level.

Speed is critical, and transparency is recommended. Be honest.  They were not onboard with the plan, so it was time to move on.  The upside is that this can be an early signal to everyone that you are serious and committed.

The other more serious issue is the question of replacing them and having the right people in place to lead the initiative.  You have to be able to find these people.  If you cannot – the answer is now ‘Don’t Go’.

Without the right team in place, any strategic plan is doomed to failure.

From our book, The 7 Elements of Strategy Execution

“What do we mean by the right people? This is hiring and developing team members who support the strategy, believe in it and know where they fit in. The right people is the foundation for the execution of your organization’s strategic plan.”

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