Strategy Execution’s No. 1 Challenge

Blog Post The Strategic Frame, Transformational Leadership

As an executive or leader, what do you feel is your # 1 challenge during strategy execution?

If your answer is somewhere in the ballpark of “poor performance during execution,” you are not alone.

Seventy-one percent of the 200 executives polled in a 2014 Insigniam Executive Sentiment Survey, as well as the majority of global CEO’s surveyed by HBR in March 2015 concur. (Insigniam Quarterly, Fall 2015)

These diverse global leaders said that executional excellence is their #1 challenge across all industries and countries, and a full 75% said that efficiency and execution are critical to success.

Identifying and addressing two of the greatest hurdles

According to the HBR survey, two of the greatest challenges to strategy execution that leaders identified are:

• Failure to align
• Failure to coordinate across units

What can be done to strengthen alignment and coordinated action?

Executives identified three critical success factors for executing a major change initiative:

• Collaboration and trust
• Communication
• Alignment

Effective communication is crucial

Clearly all three of these elements are interrelated, and when one is strengthened, so are the others. For the necessary alignment to be present there must be communication and collaboration, and as these elements build, so does trust.

Before any of these critical success factors can be addressed, first there must be a clearly expressed and collaboratively generated vision and strategy. This cannot be one that lives simply as words on paper.

Ultimately, the necessary collaboration and trust, communication, and alignment needed for successful execution all come into existence through effective conversations.

It is the quality and timing of these conversations, combined with sufficient and consistent action, that determine the effectiveness and success of your strategy execution.

Did you know that the best time to positively impact strategy execution performance is during the design phase?

If so, you also know that this takes authentic collaboration and going beyond mere verbal “buy-in”. How to accomplish this is topic of our next posts.

COMING NEXT: We will highlight some keys to this unique kind of communication—one that catalyzes the building alignment, trust and collaboration early on and throughout the process.

With these key conversations in place you can build in the capability for the necessary alignment and coordinated action within and across company units for extraordinary performance.

Discussion