Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Strategy Execution Unravels

Making the strategy a living thing, which can breathe life into people and the culture.

Strategy execution is difficult. A recent executive survey indicated that execution excellence was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders globally, heading a list of business issues, including innovation, geopolitical instability, and top-line growth. The studies have found that two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies. Why does strategy execution unravel and how to improve strategy execution success rate?


Leadership effectiveness: Successful strategy execution is directly related to real leadership from the top down. The important leadership skill is the ability to see ahead. To read the future and align for opportunities that will exist when your team needs to arrive. And that ability is fraught with perception problems galore. One of the key elements missing in dysfunctional organizations is the leader not taking personal responsibility for his/her role. Without taking responsibility, fear, distrust, and agendas are bred---and it's impossible to argue with fools not taking responsibility. The real leaders lead. They guide, they direct, they own it, they hold themselves and managers accountable, they listen, they communicate with purpose, they rally the team for the cause! It's not just about strategic ideas, but making the strategy a living thing. The strategy when executed has a breath --- and it can breathe life into people and the culture. Who doesn't want to work for a company that really makes a difference?


Mind crafting: The process of moving something from outlier to acceptance usually takes a long time and involves risk. It seems logical the more ambitious the strategy one undertakes, one should expect high levels of friction to capture (inside and outside the company) those high rewards. It is describing a more egalitarian (or distributed and coordinated) social structure to strategy execution. How will this arise without overcoming the very problems they describe regarding risk/reward? What’s the perception of success and assumption of risk? Change is borne from outliers - whether that be a perception, an emerging demographic, technology, etc. More often, outliers are the trend which represents the future, the hope, and the progress.


Cross-functional collaboration: One key practice is driving highly intensifying collaboration sessions across the management team at an appropriate frequency. This isn't accomplished through normal operational meetings, but can be through periodic cross-functional problem-solving and innovation sessions. The key is to get stakeholders to periodically "zoom out" and coordinate as an extended team with their peers across other co-dependent functions or groups, mutually working to address gaps and issues. These need to be systematic working and action planning sessions, professionally facilitated with proper methods and care, and with accountability for following through, to be effective.


Structure execution: It is far easier to proactively structure and manage superior execution than to deal reactively with the ravages of execution dysfunction. Not only that, but it’s much more fun and uplifting. And on productivity theme, the properly structured using "organizational focus" and authentic communication, productivity can triple. Every employee wants in their hearts to win, to achieve something significant. If leadership can define a compelling vision, structure execution, support and guide it, celebrating wins along the way, employees will dedicate all over themselves to produce. The processes and necessary techniques are simple, practical, and free executives to be more strategic in their roles. However, it is human nature to get distracted and lose sight of the ultimate vision. Quarterly reviews are very helpful. Sometimes these need to be scheduled more frequently.


The culture of execution: The tipping point is to create "execution culture;" driving ownership, commitment, collaboration and creativity out into the organization. Most managers spend very little time addressing crumbling paradigms or basically would not know where to start to addressing crumbling paradigms. The superior execution requires the leaders’ inquisitiveness to dig through the root cause; also with some willingness to set aside personal interest; willingness and desire to serve the greater good and uplift the human spirit. Play big or stay in a box of incrementalism. The cultural richness and across-the-board life satisfaction derived from achieving goals are night and day different. Although the teams are the engine, leadership must put that engine in place and care for it in a cohesive way. The single greatest threat is leadership's willingness and ability to collaborate, breakdown the silo, share power and open their functional agendas.


From effective leadership to execution culture; from rigorous, or even anti-fragile processes to highly engaging talent; from proactive planning to accepting outliers via education and influencing; the super execution is the result of synchronization of all key business factors; organizational agility & intelligence and strong disciplines and management practices.   



0 comments:

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More