What is “strategy execution” and why do so many organizations fail to deliver on their mid-term and long-term strategic objectives?
Unfortunately, it often seems as though there are as many definitions of “strategy execution” as there are individuals involved in executing strategic plans! You can get lost simply trying to find the “correct” definition or framework to use for your own organization.
Worse, when a strategic vision, plan or direction is announced by C-level and senior leadership, business unit leadership and their teams are often on their own in determining which specific decisions and activities they will undertake to turn the strategy into commercial success.
Organization senior decision-makers may have decided to enter new markets with new products and services or significantly expand current operations in existing markets. There may be mergers or acquisitions in the works that will require the organization to restructure to deliver on new portfolios of opportunities that are completely different from how the organization operates today. And all that will occur within the context of day-to-day operations that must be maintained.
Successful strategy execution, regardless of how you want to define it, requires an easy to understand, simplified and structured approach to identifying, prioritizing and creating the new internal capabilities needed to satisfy new strategic requirements while at the same time sustaining performance and hitting performance targets in current “business as usual” operations.
Inteq’s four Strategy Execution workshops provide senior and mid-level leaders with a comprehensive and agile approach to execute on the many, often conflicting, requirements - along with the tools necessary to create a comprehensive plan of attack satisfying the company’s need for maintaining value in the current environment while creating the conditions for rapid increases in value from new strategic internal capabilities, products and services.
Your organization has a strategic plan. However, simply having a strategic plan doesn’t guarantee strategic success. Organizations often fail to achieve strategic objectives and goals within the time frame specified by the strategic plan.
The focus of this workshop is to enable participants to validate their understanding of enterprise strategic objectives and priorities, ensure clarity of the organizational context, and seek alignment among and between the layers of the organizational structure.
The two key reasons that organizations often fail to achieve strategic objectives and goals within the time frame specified by the strategic plan are:
Alignment and organizational context are the foundation for successful execution of strategy.
Workshop participants work together with the Inteq facilitator(s) to:
The workshop is designed for decision makers responsible for executing strategy within each layer of the organization. For example, a workshop could include the organization's C-level and senior leadership team, or divisional/business unit leadership and management, or functional/department management.
Each layer has different roles, responsibilities, objectives, and risks with respect to strategy execution. Each workshop is tailored to the specific organization and to the organizational layer represented by the participants.
Organizational strategy success is typically stated in terms of financial and customer-related strategic objectives and targets. Achieving those financial and customer related objectives and targets requires changes to processes, personnel skill sets and systems.
Unfortunately, the operational related strategic objectives regarding process, people and technology are often missing or underrepresented in a strategic plan.
Identify and define the objectives at the operational layers of the organization required to achieve the financial and customer related strategic objectives
Capture the cause-and-effect relationship between the operational objectives to the financial and customer related strategic objectives
Identify the appropriate measures for tracking operational objective improvement
Identify and analyze the risks/problems/barriers in achieving the operational objectives
Workshop participants work together and with the facilitators to develop a strategy map.
Strategy maps depicting the cause-and-effect relationships among and between financial, customer and operational strategic objectives
List of appropriate measures to track operational objective improvement
List of risks/problems/barriers that might hinder achieving operational objectives
Participants from the Owning Strategic Alignment workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into the strategic plan and strategic objectives.
Once the operational objectives necessary to achieve the strategic objectives of the overall strategic plan have been defined, we must identify the actions we will take to deliver the operational objective improvements. These actions (“strategic initiatives”) may include major projects, minor projects or even smaller tasks and may be targeted at all levels of the organization impacting policies, processes, people and systems.
Thus, a “Strategic Initiative” is simply an improvement project or action that delivers the needed improvement to achieve an operational objective in our strategy map.
The prioritization of strategic initiatives will be essential in our Optimizing Value Workshop where we will be integrating our short-term incremental operational improvement activities with our longer-term strategic initiatives.
Participants from the Closing Strategic Gaps workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into the development of strategic initiatives that support the operational and strategic objectives. Finance and Accounting representation in this workshop is strongly recommended.
Every business unit and business function in your organization has a series of ongoing “business-as-usual” incremental improvement projects that are essential to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of current operations.
Further, these incremental “business as usual” improvement projects are often tied to employee performance reviews and performance bonuses.
The focus of the Optimizing Value workshop is to address the question - how do I balance delivering on my short term incremental improvement initiatives with achieving the longer-term strategic change initiatives to optimize customer and business value within the resource constraints of time, talent, budget?
Workshop participants work together with the facilitator(s) to:
Identify current and upcoming department/group “business as usual” incremental improvement projects and analyze the value contribution and resource requirements of these projects.
Identify current and upcoming enterprise-level improvement projects and analyze the value contribution and resource requirements of these projects.
Analyze the value contribution and resource requirements of the strategic initiatives identified and prioritized in the Create and Prioritize Strategic Initiatives workshop.
Analyze various options for balancing short-term incremental improvement projects with longer-term strategic change initiatives to optimize customer and business value.
Analyze strategic initiative potential impacts on employee performance reviews and compensation plans.
Create an integrated, multi-year, budgeted plan for executing both “business as usual” projects and strategic initiatives.
Participants from the Prioritizing Strategic Initiatives workshop plus any additional stakeholders that can provide additional insight into your organization's short-term incremental improvident initiatives and/or longer-term strategic initiatives. HR and Workshop group leadership participation in this workshop is strongly recommended.