Adapting to Demands Through a Customer-Centric Retail Landscape
Nestled near the banks of the Rock River, Rocktown Adventures has been serving its community as a specialty outdoor retailer and outfitter since 2014. What started out as a simple idea to increase the health, economy, and appreciation for Rockford, Illinois, has evolved into a lifestyle brand, complete with selling gear and equipment in-store and online, providing workshops and how-to instructional classes, and leading overnight excursions for kayakers and backpackers.
But with exponential growth comes a price. Kevin Versino, Rocktown Adventures’ general manager, admits that “it was easy to get tactic-oriented instead of strategy-oriented,” especially in 2020 when the popularity of outdoor activities skyrocketed.
To combat the focus of working in the business instead of on it, Versino and the executive management team chose to implement MPOWR Envision, a strategy execution software, to help them achieve their long- and short-term strategy goals.
Staying on Top of High-Level Strategy Execution Through the Daily Grind
As one can imagine, the unpredictability of nature can make an unpredictable day at Rocktown Adventures. “Many days,” Versino notes, “I have ten things on my to-do list. By 10:30 a.m., it becomes twenty-one. When we get customers in the store or it snows or there’s a pandemic, I don’t have the time to sit and collect my thoughts.”
A growing list of priorities means that some items are shifted or even forgotten. Luckily, MPOWR Envision helps Versino stay on top of what matters. The software visually presents the company’s goals by designated colors, assigned to urgent needs versus what’s on track.
This visual health check reminds Versino to stay aligned to the big picture: “By simply making an update and navigating through MPOWR Envision, I’m forced to read our high-level strategy goals, which ensures that what I do isn’t just noise to stay busy, but to move forward to achieve the goal.”
Since his schedule can be hectic, Versino explains that one of the biggest benefits of using MPOWR Envision is that it allows him to update management and communicate with the leadership team. “If they have a question for me because of a pending deal, or a company decision is made that will affect the storefront, we can both communicate on our own time through the platform.”
Similarly, the cloud-based software helps all Rocktown Adventures stakeholders stay on top of action items while not having to attend dozens of meetings. The team has recently been discussing mandating a wake-free zone in the Rock River for kayakers. Since this isn’t a one-person decision, MPOWR Envision helps Versino stay updated on how things are progressing with the company’s government affairs partner and alerts him when it’s his turn to act.
The fact that Versino can communicate when it’s most ideal for him makes it easier to be a proactive leader of strategy execution and influence the direction of the brand. Knowing the management team has seen his updates and can respond in real time allows Versino to stay focused on his strategy as well as the day-to-day action items. It also gives him time to collaborate with strategic experts to continue to develop and execute the company’s strategic plan.
How to Start Creating a Culture of Execution
Your organizational culture is a critical part of successful strategy execution. Without the right environment, your strategy will remain simply ideas in a spreadsheet or
- A culture of execution takes commitment from the top. If leaders do not make the plan a priority, their teams won’t either. Leadership has to be a strong advocate for focusing on the plan goals.
- Before you can begin to realize strategy execution, assess your current culture. Where are you on your strategic journey?
Take our Strategy Readiness Assessment to find out.
- Strategy execution takes work. Cultural shifts do not happen overnight, but if leadership commits to dedicating time and resources to the governance of your strategy and its execution, you will see results happen.