Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Monthly Strategy Highlight - Strategy Execution: How Hard Could it Be? Dec. 2015

The strategy is the light to guide you ahead, not the hand to walk you through.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.2 million page views with 2300+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom.

A digital strategy is cross-functional effort and multidisciplinary, multidimensional planning; it brings up new functions, roles, and responsibilities, collaboration, demand for intuition and emergence, complementarities, philosophy, neutron sciences, and trans-disciplinary businesses. But these are not new per se. The frameworks of thoughts, consciousness and maturity assessments apply to strategy, then, now and in the future. Here is the monthly strategy highlight of the “Future of CIO” blog.

The Strategy Execution - How Difficult Could it Be?  
  • Strategy Execution: How Difficult Could it Be: Nowadays, with increasing speed of change and fierce competition, business strategy execution is no longer linear steps, but a dynamic continuum. If strategy formulation is more important for leading business toward the right direction, then strategy execution is perhaps more difficult due to the business complexity, uncertainty, time/resource consuming, etc. The strategic themes are essentially the pillars of the organization. They include business growth, operational excellence, customer experience excellence, product development, innovation, and sustainability. Strategic perspectives include financial aspect, customers and stakeholders' aspect, internal processes, organizational capability and engaged leadership. Strategy execution: How difficult could it be?

  • Strategy Execution - How to Keep Focused: If the strategy is more important because it directly impacts which direction should an organization go, then execution is more difficult because it takes time and business alignment to make it work. And there are many pitfalls on the way, also a lot of roadblocks to overcome. So focus, focus, and how to keep focusing on strategy execution?

  • The inextricable Relationship between Strategy, Culture and Execution: Digital strategy is the compass to navigate through the digital transformation journey in organizations today. So it's important to outline the strategic intent and frame the strategy to be understandable and implementable. Otherwise, people's different interpretations yield many unintended consequences. Then, it is vital to actively socialize the strategy to confirm its intent and understandability by those who will guide the implementation. Here are five aspects in crafting and implementing a digital strategy.

  • What's Focal Point for Practicing Innovation Strategy? Idea Generation or Capability Building? Today’s business is hyper-competitive and over-complex, there’re so many things going on in the business executives’ agenda, what’s your emphasis point for practicing business strategy -idea creation or  capability building? What’s the root cause for business lagging behind: Is it that you do not have the culture to develop new ideas or is it that you are unable to execute them?

  • How to Improve the Success Rate of Strategy Execution? If strategy making is more important, perhaps strategy execution is more difficult. If the strategy is deciding what to do, then execution is all about making it happen via engaged, competent and committed managers and employees. A recent executive survey indicated that execution excellence was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders globally, but more than two third of organizations struggle to implement their strategy smoothly. Hence, organizations need to address this aggressively to really start cranking up their execution abilities. And what are important factors in executing strategy more successfully?

  • The 'Golden Ratio' of Strategy Creation vs. Execution:  The rapidly changing business dynamic makes strategy creation not less important, but more critical to compete and thrive for the business's long- term thriving. And one of the most crucial tasks for top executives is to spend a significant portion of time to 'Think Strategically.' However, what is the "right" percentage of time spent on creating a vision and strategy vs. execution and results, or what's the "golden ratio" of time-spending in strategy creation vs. execution? Does strategic planning follows 80/20 principle to provide focus on the 20% of activities that will yield 80% future success?

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.


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