Does Your Organization Have Effective Strategy Execution Capabilities?
While businesses have spent more than a trillion dollars on business management consulting and training in the past decades, research shows that a large majority of organizations are still failing to execute their strategies effectively. Strategy execution is still a hot topic in 2014. In fact, the Conference Board’s recent Survey of CEOs revealed that chief executives are so concerned about strategy execution that they rated it as both their number one and number two most challenging issue. We believe that one of the root causes of this major issue is a lack of a strategy execution process at the leadership and management layers!
Why? Many executives are missing several crucial process disciplines (see Strategy Execution Systems below) necessary to manage the interfaces of the enterprise and are not getting to the core strategy execution questions that would enable successful strategy management practices (such as strategic planning, integrated execution planning, and project portfolio management) to get the right work done. 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.”
Our approach to implementing this improvement opportunity for an organization 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 capabilities through a portfolio of projects that drive strategy. 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 project planning (in the context of a portfolio) through real-time action learning, visual-based strategy mapping, strategic thinking with customer outcomes, and structured dialogue to promote the discipline of “stratxology”—the art and science of strategy execution leadership. This discipline leads to integrative systems thinking and organizational alignment, two fundamental success factors for establishing any Strategy Execution Office or performance transformation initiative.
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