Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Digital Master Tuning #55: How to Mind the Gap between Strategy and Execution

The business strategy-execution gaps exist at people’ mindsets and beyond.

As companies around the world transform themselves into digital business that is based on ‎information, innovation, and intelligence, their ability to well align the strategy and execution, for delivering the solid result; their capability to explore intangible assets (leadership, culture, innovation, knowledge etc) has become far more decisive than their ‎ability to invest in and manage physical assets. In order to build a solid strategy and execute it smoothly, more specifically, how to mind the strategy-execution gap? Do you think there should be a specialized strategy department for strategy ‎analysis and formulation? What about strategy implementation and how to measure it effectively?

By mapping strategy to execution, you need to well define the business goals (both long term and short term): What you are going to achieve could be “LONG TERM” or “SHORT TERM” goals. ‎Usually ‎companies need to measure the goals using certain KPIs which are very much to do with ‎time and investment. After that, they need to have SHORT-TERM actions which are aligned with the ‎goals. The ‎managements need to make sure that STRATEGY is on the right track, otherwise they ‎have to take ‎corrective ACTIONS. If strategy (the deliberate strategy) is planned or intended, usually it is LONG TERM. The ‎time factor is ‎needed because you want to measure your performance. If there is no time-frame ‎for the strategy, the actions are meaningless because you could keep executing forever. For ‎emergent strategy, you could ‎have short term or long term goals as well. There are three interrelated terms: vision, strategy, and tactics:
‎-Vision: What you want the organization to be (your dream). ‎
‎-Strategy: What you are going to do to achieve your vision (goals) ‎
‎-Tactics: How you will achieve your strategy and when (actions).‎

The ideation team and execution team have different focal point and performance evaluation criteria: Perhaps the organizational structure is different based on the nature of the business and the history of the company. It could be a good idea to have an ideation team and an execution team, because though the skill sets needed are almost same, there is an intangible difference woven to it. For an execution team what is more needed is energy, enthusiasm and getting work done attitude, whereas for an ideation team the need is, innovation, visualizing, analyzing & synthesis and a reprogrammable mind. It means that, for an ideation team, the need is a searchlight mind, and for an execution team the need is laser focus attitude. From a performance perspective, the ideation team can be evaluated via their “thinking performance,” and the execution team will be assessed via the “doer performance.”

Leverage balance scorecard for monitoring business result: You can only manage what you measure. To ensure the noble long-term business vision, the entity has to survive and grow – meaning it has to make enough profits for sustenance and expansion. So for this purpose, the concept of Balance Score Card came into practice, to ensure the purpose of sustenance and growth, in a scientific manner. And as the business paradigm keeps changing and becoming more and more dynamic, the management also needs to amend the balance score card along with. For example, you need to bring in environment impact, social impact, etc. The key to a balanced scorecard is to be sure you're measuring the right things. It's hard to predict the behaviors that will result from the measures you've implemented. For example; to measure an organization’s learning and growth - measuring the number of training days employees take isn't useful in and of itself. You have to find a way to measure that the right employees take the right training, and then measure the training's effectiveness - in that the employee's use it to improve their and the organizations' performance. From the point of view of the business operation, you could classify companies as product-based ‎companies (make to stock) and project-based companies (make to order). There are some ‎arguments that balance scorecard is more appropriate for product-based companies while project ‎management portfolio is more suitable for project-based companies.‎

The business strategy-execution gaps exist at people’ mindsets, the organizational culture, the business processes & capabilities, the measurement & tools, etc. it takes analytics-synthesis thinking, systematic approach and effective tools such as balanced scoreboard to bridge the gaps and implement digital strategy more seamlessly.

Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Masters are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:


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