While facilitating the launch of our new Leading Strategic Execution™ business simulation workshop this week, I asked my group of participants a simple question; “If you Google ‘Strategy Execution,’ how many responses do you get?”
Obviously it’s a trick question and nobody ever gets it right as the answer of course is 11.8 million in .46 seconds which is almost impossible to comprehend.
In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business world, organizations struggle every day with the challenges of successful strategy execution at every level of the organization. If you really think about it, all of the talent management and development programs organizations spend money on are really a function of strategy execution including developing skills in the areas of leadership, sales, change leadership, innovation, coaching & feedback, and resolving conflict. Every year, global organizations spend more than $75 billion on training to develop these skills that are targeted toward helping leaders of businesses, leaders of people, leaders of projects and individual contributors to ultimately do the things needed to flawlessly manage strategy execution of delivering a value proposition to customers in exchange for fair and reasonable compensation that makes a profit.
During our Leading for Execution business simulation process, participants took on the role of a leader of a business going through significant change including managing a mature portfolio of products that have become commoditized. The CEO in the simulation has said the company strategy is evolving to a more innovative product leadership strategy and everyone needed to align in support of it so they can develop and sell high-quality and high value products to their customers. There are about 20 different scenarios and challenges in the simulation that present challenges of understanding, interpreting, aligning, and executing the organizations strategy. Based on the results and data analytics of the simulation, I wrote this blog to focus on the 4 core things all employees need to know about executing strategy.
1) Managing Initiatives
The first and most important element any employee needs to understand is how to manage the initiatives of the actual work that has to be done to execute the strategies. Within managing the initiatives, there are very critical practical elements that have to occur to be successful. These include:
- Link and make sure all of the work and all of the initiatives are directly linked to the value proposition the company is offering to your customers.
- Set realistic goals and objectives which are collaboratively developed and have a strong linkage back to the value proposition being offered to customers.
- Manage time effectively and efficiently. Track the efforts that are being made and make sure they are aligned to the work being completed.
- Allocate the resources effectively and make sure the right resources are working on the right initiatives which are linked to the value proposition.
- Prioritize everything, review the priorities, and make sure the priorities are aligned with the value proposition.
The next element is communications. It is critical to make sure that the strategy, value proposition to customers, and managing of the initiatives is done with effective communication. Different multi-platform communications are recommended to address the varying needs of all audiences.
3) Evaluating Performance
Strategic execution in a vacuum is never effective. It is critical to all companies success to evaluate the performance of the execution by developing metrics and measuring to them. In addition to the business strategy and value proposition metrics, evaluating and measuring the people performance and managers execution based on the strategy is also just as critical.
4) Mentoring and Coaching
The fourth element is providing an infrastructure for mentoring and coaching throughout the execution of the strategy. People don’t always know what to do! Executives management of the process is critical so employees do not become frustrated, disengaged, and make strategic mistakes because there is no coaching or mentoring.
To learn more about our Leading for Strategy Execution simulation V2.0, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a demo.