Inaction is Invitation to Adversity: How to Nail Strategy Execution?Part 2
Developing a bold and executable strategy requires careful planning and execution by an organization's leadership team. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we learned that “only 8% of company leaders were said to excel at both strategy and execution,”1 revealing a lack of visionary and operational skills at the leadership level. Leaders who excel at strategy and execution begin the strategic planning journey by developing a bold and executable strategy.1
Strategy execution also requires leaders to consider the role of their egos and the organizational culture. Leaders need to understand the importance of putting aside their pride and ego, ensuring they can effectively collaborate with their teams. Additionally, they need to acknowledge the impact of the corporate culture on the potential success or failure of many change-related challenges within organizations. If your organization has not established and incorporated clear Mission, Vision, and Values, it will lack the foundation for effective strategy execution.
Why should one focus on execution?
Execution is intrinsically more challenging than strategy. Once the plans are ready on paper, everything depends on how good your strategy execution game is. Your brand’s potential market dominance is at stake! A poorly developed strategy execution means one thing and one thing only — you will lose customers to your competitors.2
How to make strategy and execution complement each other?
Wondering how you can make strategy and execution work in your favor? Try focusing on the following three actions:
1. Building the strategy
When building the strategy, you’ll need to know how uniquely you will add value to customers and whether or not you have the capacity to deliver. Consider the following, “Are you shaping the world around you with your given strengths, are you waiting for change to happen and therefore playing by someone else’s rules?”1
2. Adding clarity to the strategy
You need to stay true to the strategy, and so do your team members. This is only achievable if you pen down the strategy in a way that is easily understood by everyone involved in the project. Have you developed visible programs (i.e., new technologies, processes, or training programs) to build the key capabilities your organization needs to achieve victory?1 Finally, remember to over-communicate clearly so everyone knows their responsibility, the common goals, potential rewards, and the resources allocated for successful strategy execution.
3. Executing and measuring the strategy implementation
As a leader, you will have to motivate the team to align their actions with the set goals. Enable employees to work across organizational silos to meet the execution challenges. Moreover, management will have to keep track of the team's performance and invest more into improving the organization’s ability to tackle disruptions throughout strategy execution. Ask yourself, “Are you keeping track not just of your performance but of how you’re building and scaling up those few key capabilities that enable you to create value for customers in ways that others cannot?”1
Impact of business simulations on strategy execution
Can we improve strategy execution? You bet we can! With proper training and skill development, you can achieve effective strategy execution and reach organizational goals. Business simulations can act as a catalyst for skill development in the strategy execution process and provide executive leaders with the right muscles and tools to tackle the challenges of execution. Business simulations help provide executive leadership teams with a realistic situation of strategy execution by involving the factors (time and resources) and variables impacting the market. All of this contributes to strategy acceleration.2 Cliched as it may sound, even execution requires preparation and strategy. This seems so obvious, yet 67% of well-developed strategies fail due to poor execution.
While we push for impeccable strategy execution, it is imperative that we realize that strategy execution is a skill that can only be mastered through practice. Business executives should be prepared to hire consultants with extensive strategy execution experience to help their organizations develop the skills it takes for effective strategy execution. Translating strategy into manageable steps and goals, identifying the resources required for strategy implementation, and measuring the progress against a certain goal are the cornerstones of successful strategy execution. Moreover, you should have the capacity to make adjustments to the execution in accordance with the changing organizational and market trends.
Strategic planning and implementation is a complex process that requires careful planning and strategy execution. Research indicates that 60–90% of strategic plans never fully launch, with lack of execution consistently contributing to failed efforts. Leader Essentials Group’s Strategic Planning & Strategy Execution Master Class training provides a detailed framework for implementing and executing your strategic initiatives. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message us on LinkedIn to schedule a 15-minute telephone or virtual consultation to learn more and how we can partner with you to help you execute your strategy!
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_________________________________________________________________________  Harvard Business Review (HBR) (2017). How to Excel at Both Strategy and Execution. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/11/how-to-excel-at-both-strategy-and-execution  Forbes (2021). Strategy Execution Is Critical Yet Often Ignored. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2021/07/28/strategy-execution-is-critical-yet-often-ignored/?sh=6f6bc71f26a1