If a strategy fails to lead to desired results, what went wrong – the strategy itself or the execution? Based on research, the problem seems to be mainly with execution. It is not about ideas, but about how the ideas are implemented. Managers should, above all, be assessed based on their ability to make strategy come true.
A Good strategy would address the question ‘Where do we want to go?’, as well as the question ‘How do we get there?’ These two questions interact - this is the starting point for strategy execution.
Good strategy execution is about human energy on one hand and about everyday activities on the other. When we succeed in inspiring people, they will commit and get things done on their own initiative. A good strategy is not about energy and inspiration alone, it also shows in everyone’s daily activities. People can see the connection between their own work and the strategy. The following four core elements of strategy implementation are essential for success:
· Creating an inspiring strategy through dialogue
· Managerial practices and behaviour that clearly support the strategy
· Co-Acting - Working together
· Building a strong execution culture
Around the core of strategy implementation, one finds execution areas where strategy is visible in everyday life. These include people creating the change, performance leadership, critical strategic projects, as well as development of high performers and talent. In strategy execution, the different areas are individually prioritised based on organisational circumstances.
The strategy is traditionally decided at the headquarters. The organization would be informed of the strategy by cascading the message down from one organisation level to the next. Targets would be set in the course of this cascading process. However, modern strategies are interactive. it is better to think that
· Strategies are formed in the course of execution – we must be prepared to make changes as we proceed with the implementation.
· The four core elements of strategy execution – creating an inspiring strategy, strengthening the central role of managers, gaining commitment by co-acting and building real execution energy – are not optional.
· Strategy becomes visible in everyday work in the different execution areas. The priority of different implementation areas varies from one organisation to another.