Thursday, October 13, 2022


The superior implementation requires the leaders’ inquisitiveness to dig through the root cause, and figure out the true solution, rather than fixing the symptoms only. 

In adapting to the rapid change and fierce competitions, the success of business management undoubtedly lies in the timely implementation and this can be achieved only through effective leadership, employee engagement and collaboration, continuous persistence and follow up with strong governance discipline.

In order to enhance the iterative planning and implementation cycle, the senior or mid-management needs to take more of the lead. What needs to be done to achieve the strategic vision, bridge gaps of planning and implementation, and achieve high performance results?

Business executives today need to look ahead and be proactively looking for opportunities to improve, identify the decision blind spots, capability gaps in implementation: Running business is complex nowadays, the business leaders and their team cannot afford to be unprepared for the challenging task of facing uncertainty. The problem is not uncertainty, rather, it is unpreparedness towards efficient handling of uncertainty. Silo mentality or change inertia due to a lack of sufficient resources or small thinking is part of business reality in many organizations. Big or small decisions are based on static or outdated information available and the “gut feeling” of decision-makers; it inevitably creates the blind spots, or jumps to the wrong conclusions sooner or later.

Implementation is more difficult also due to its complexity and the culture or resistance. The top reason why strategy implementations fail is because they were not actionable from the get-go. The managers today, especially senior leaders should have the ability to perceive the big picture of the business ecosystem, to complement the team’s viewpoint for bridging gaps and overcoming decision fatigue. It’s important to apply multidimensional thought processes and leverage nonlinear logic to effective decision-making, especially at the strategic level for bridging gaps between planning and implementation, and build competitive teams for timely execution.

Business integration has to be done with a “big picture” by identifying interdependence or business frictions:
Implementation is a capability-based management process. It is far easier to proactively structure and manage implementation than to deal reactively with the ravages of execution dysfunction. Strategic planning is really not meaningful unless they include an implementation plan, developed by the stakeholders and the executive team together, also overseen by corporate boards. It’s important to integrate the expectations of critical internal stakeholders into the design; integrate people, process, technology into core competency, to ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Furthermore, the impact of today’s technologies, their integration with other new technologies, seems to be more profound, especially given the concurrent ecosystem changes going on. It often takes cross functional collaboration and interdisciplinary expertise to get integration right.

In reality, many companies that get stuck at the lower level of organizational maturity operate as the sum of pieces, rather than an integral whole. Integration is not always cost-effective, especially with highly disparate systems. Seamless alignment and integration will help to determine the appropriate dynamic aspects and enable the management to simplify the elements appropriately to build cohesive business capabilities, and ensure that business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. For the well-established organization, it’s also important to take a wide look at what's going on outside the organization, the business ecosystem, take an “interconnected systems “approach, to enhance the integration of across local and global business, social, technological, economic, political, and ecological systems, increasing revenue growth, process maturity, margin improvement or customer satisfaction, etc.

Business executives are more interested in the multifaceted value realized by the organization than the “value delivery” by the team: You can only manage what you measure. The goal of implementation is to achieve high performance results. Organizationally, there should be common goals. The senior leaders are more interested in getting an update about the measurement of the common business goals. In most organizations, "value realized" is based on enhanced competitive advantage, and is usually measured in financial terms. These are usually increases in revenue/company valuation/user base or reductions in costs. Performance management is not an isolated management discipline, but a holistic approach with a well set of principles, methodologies and practices by connecting multidisciplinary management dots, to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of its parts.

In order to run a people centric company, value becomes more diverse, from customer satisfaction to corporate brand to societal progression. It depends on what the senior management really wants to see and the meaning they will derive from the metrics they are shown. Because limited hierarchy works best in a creative environment where the free flow of information and their prompt implementation is a key element of success, to generate business value. The teams that cross the organizational boundaries should work together with their goals in alignment with the organization's goals. Business executives would more likely “scrutinize” the metrics from different angles, their intention is to ensure the healthy status of the business initiative portfolio and overall implementation success rate.

Implementation is always more important than design in a VUCA world. It's leadership's responsibility to drive the execution of the business strategy. But strategy execution hasn't been a competency in lots of organizations. The superior implementation requires the leaders’ inquisitiveness to dig through the root cause, and figure out the true solution, rather than fixing the symptoms only. Transparency in follow-up of a system of the implementation process from planning up to implementation and giving feedback and management & peer recognition are so important to catalyze change, improve business agility, build organizational competency and resilience.


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