Does Your Organization Have the Right Strategy Execution Capabilities?
According to the 2016 KPMG CEO Outlook Survey, “Two-thirds of U.S. CEOs believe that the next three years will be more critical for their industries than the last 50 years. The next three years will be led by technology, speed, and convergence. These three forces will upend business models, blur lines between industries and companies, and demand a new way of thinking about business.” They go on to say, “In three years’ time, four out of 10 CEOs expect to be running significantly transformed companies. Such change is causing some concerns about current capabilities. CEOs recognize that they are now handling issues that they have never grappled with before.” No wonder strategy execution capabilities are one of the top issues.
The rate of change that is occurring is unprecedented and signals that the emerging project-based economy and the need for agile project-centric organizational capabilities, especially for innovation systems, is already here. Why? You simply cannot make this kind of transformation and re-invention without upgrading the managerial capability of planning and executing project work to an entirely new level. While businesses have spent more than a trillion dollars on business management consulting and training in the past decades, research shows that the majority of organizations are still failing to effectively execute their strategies, transformation plans, and innovation initiatives fast enough. We believe that one of the root causes of this major issue continues to be the lack of a coherent disruptive innovation and execution process at the leadership level!
Why? Many organizations are missing several crucial process disciplines such as an agile strategy management system necessary to manage the cross-functional interfaces of the enterprise and the diverse set of portfolios at work. The learning and reflection rate on the strategy execution framework questions would enable successful strategy management practices (such as strategic planning, integrated program planning, and project portfolio management) to get the right work done at the right time. Furthermore, Richard Rumelt, a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management points out, “Most corporate ‘strategic plans’ have little to do with strategy. They are simply three-year or five-year rolling resource budgets and some sort of market share projection. Calling it ‘strategic planning’ creates false expectations that the exercise will somehow produce a coherent strategy.” One can easily give up trying to define the complexities of strategy execution as this core process touches almost every single organizational function.
Our approach to define the right strategy and innovation execution capabilities, involves assessing your current management systems and then co-creating the right linkages and processes between key areas of an enterprise’s business functions and the appropriate capabilities required to execute you chosen business model. The strategy execution framework process for these organizational performance systems is discussed in my book Executing Your Strategy published by the Harvard Business School Press and is based on a leading Stanford University executive education program called Advanced Project Management.
Where to Start? In order to realize the benefits of any strategy execution framework you might adopt, we have developed 12 Strategic Planning and Alignment Workshops which are designed with some of the best research-based planning practices in business. We use an innovative set of group facilitation techniques and methods such as visual-based strategy execution mapping, design thinking to validate customer outcomes, integrated project planning (in the context of your strategic portfolio), and step-by-step structured dialogue to promote the discipline of strategy execution leadership. This discipline leads to contextual-based organizational engineering and strategic clarity, two fundamental success factors for executing your business model value discipline and how you create competitive advantage.
Look at my new forthcoming Book – Chapter 1 – Getting Real about Strategy Execution Leadership! I am writing a serial digital book about the many challenges of applying management practices in an organization and how implementing a strategy can become more clear through common sense and the incremental building of capabilities specific to your business model and context.
“Without question William is one of the most effective facilitators of the strategic planning process that I have seen. He successfully led nearly 40 senior leaders through strategy design for one of our most complex, cross-functional initiatives to date. William knows strategic planning extremely well, is capable of leading diverse groups through the process, and has the talent of making it all fun.” Michelle Fleury, Senior Director, Cisco Systems