Byron's Babbles

Better Implementation!

Implementation SuccessLast week I wrote “Consensus to Implementation.” In that blog post I focused on consensus. Click here to read the post. For this post I want to focus on the implementation piece. So, here is my definition of implementation: A process that includes and respects all parties, and generates as much agreement as possible sets the stage for greater cooperation in implementing the resulting decisions.

“Where do great initiatives go to die: implementation.”

It is sad, but we see it all the time; great initiatives, ideas, or legislation die during implementation. I have seen this during my time on the Indiana State Board of Education, in schools, and many other organizations. Sometimes this is by design, which is very sad and a whole other story – thus why monitoring will be one of the keys I mention to successful implementation. As I see it, there are keys to successful implementation of anything:

  1. Organization
  2. Role development
  3. Planning
  4. Resources
  5. Communication
  6. Monitoring

I want to speak to two of these specifically. One of the great things I learned at Harvard is how important the role development part of implementation is. It is an element that many leave out of the process. But, it is very important for everyone involved in the implementation of anything that he or she understand their role in carrying out the initiative. This might be the most important element, but is many times left out.

The other important piece is monitoring. As leaders, we must get optics on the necessary data to make sure initiatives are being implemented with fidelity. This might be one of the toughest elements, particularly when it comes to legislative/policy initiatives. Sometimes the optics on the data just is not possible. Therefore, initiatives that really could have done a great deal of good, become failures – not because the concept was bad, but because of implementation. Again, make no mistake, sometimes implementation failure is by design. This is a sad, but true, fact.

Therefore, it is very important that the ability for the correct individuals, governing bodies, or stakeholders be built into the consensus to implementation process. If it is not then great ideas, legislation, and initiatives are doomed to die in implementation. Let’s all strive for Better Implementation!



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