November 2014: 5 Steps to Successful Implementation

eNews Masthead - Transforming Challenges
In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Every athlete knows that follow-through  is the key to successful performance.  Follow-through is important in strategic planning too–we just call it implementation.  In this edition of Transforming Challenges, Senior Consultant John Reid identifies 5 steps for a successful plan implementation.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • We are pleased to have been invited by the Archdiocese of New York to assist with the implementation of Making All Things New, the planning process that involves 368 parishes in 10 counties and six pastoral areas. Cardinal Dolan announced his decisions on the mergers of 112 of the parishes on November 2. Implementation will take place over the next several years.
  • Maureen Gallagher and John Reid worked with the Salvatorian Fathers and Brothers in October on their formation program which has been blessed with an expanding number of students.
  • Lucien Roy, John Reid and Greg Cascione recently completed their planning work with St. Pius X parish in Granville MI. One highlight of the parish celebration was the planting of a tree on the parish campus symbolizing a fresh start for the parish under their new plan.
  • Tom Reid recently completed a search for a Chief Financial Officer for the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana. We are pleased that a number of strong candidates were identified in this process.
  • John Reid is beginning a school planning process with St. Matthew parish in Seattle. One highlight of this process will be a Catholic School Summit to be held on Dec. 6.
  • Maureen Gallagher recently worked with St. Bruno in Dousman, WI and St. Paul in Genesee Depot, WI on a team-building exercise for these newly-linked parishes who are sharing a pastor.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us an e-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

The Reid Group teleseminar series

Mark your calendars!

Dates for upcoming Reid Group Teleseminars:

December 10, 2014:  Leadership & Conflict Management
January 21, 2015:
Assess your 2014 Fundraising Results
February 18, 2015:  Managing Change

Time for all teleseminars:  2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT, 5 pm ET

During each teleseminar, participants will be provided with tips for practical ways to build on the momentum of the call.

If you would like to receive invitations to our teleseminar series, send an e-mail to Helen Damitio or call 206-432-3565.

Are there issues or questions you would like to hear more about?  Send your comments and feedback to us at

Feature Focus

5 Steps to Successful Implementation


John Reid, Senior Consultant

Some wise person has said, “To fail to plan is to plan to fail.”

While I agree with that advice, there is another kind of failure leaders must avoid if their planning is to bear good fruit: Failure to prepare for implementation wastes all the good energy generated in the planning process.

After all, planning is a means to an end: an action plan that engages stakeholders in the organization to carry out their hopes and dreams and live into their vision.

There are five steps to a successful implementation process:

  1. Identify the leaders who are responsible for seeing that implementation actions are accomplished, on time and within budget. One factor that undermines effective implementation is “overload”-too many responsibilities on one person’s shoulders. It’s a good idea to spread the responsibility and accountability around.
  2. Curb your impatience. It’s natural to want to “frontload” your implementation and put in place all your new ideas in the first six months, one year or two years. If your organization has created a five-year plan, identify implementation steps to be taken over those same five years.
  3. Evaluation matters. The best implementation plans include built-in evaluation of results on a regular basis, every 6-12 months. This way, adjustments can be made to the plan and implementation strategies based on new information.
  4. Institute regular and meaningful communication. The people who participated in the planning process want to know the results of their good work. Silence is no friend of anyone during implementation. You want to communicate positive results as well as struggles and even failures so that everyone knows the progress being made.
  5. Celebrate your successes. Effective leaders plan to celebrate major accomplishments along the way of implementation. These celebrations can mark the completion of a successful Capital Campaign or the opening of a new building, the one-year anniversary of a new program or attaining a new level of endowment funding that will sustain the organization. Any and every celebration is a statement of hope in the future of the organization-something your supporters welcome.

What other implementation strategies have you found effective? Post your comments on our blog at


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

bookcoverweb2Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from

And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.Kathy Johnson, Editor, Transforming Challenges
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