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The power of change management in strategy execution


The business world is dynamic, and crafting a winning strategy is often merely the first step. The true test lies in successfully translating that strategy into tangible results. This is where the often-overlooked power of change management comes into play.

While strategies may be meticulously planned and crafted on paper, they can often fall flat in the face of organizational inertia and resistance to change. This is where change management steps in, acting as the bridge between well-defined aspirations and their successful implementation.

Understanding the why of change management

At its core, change management focuses on the human aspect of organizational transformation. It recognizes that successful implementation hinges not just on revised processes or new technologies, but also on the willingness and capacity of individuals within the organization to adapt and embrace the change.

By employing various strategies and frameworks, change management fosters a supportive environment that facilitates individual and collective buy-in to the proposed changes. This involves:

  • Clear communication: Effectively communicating the “why” behind the change, not just the “what,” is crucial.
  • Building confidence: Addressing concerns and providing training equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the change effectively.
  • Empowering employees: Fostering a culture of ownership and encouraging participation in the change process can enhance engagement and motivation.

The benefits of embracing change management

This ability to transform and thrive in a dynamic business landscape becomes a key differentiator in today’s competitive environment. Thus, integrating change management principles into strategy execution is not just a “nice to have.” It is a strategic imperative with numerous benefits, such as:

  • Boosted effectiveness: By proactively addressing resistance and fostering a sense of shared ownership, change management significantly increases the adoption rate of new strategies. This translates to a smoother transition and ultimately, faster realization of the desired outcomes.
  • Elevated morale and engagement: When employees feel valued, informed, and involved throughout the change process, it cultivates a more positive and productive work environment. This leads to increased employee engagement, which is directly linked to higher levels of performance and innovation.
  • Enhanced organizational agility: By fostering a culture of adaptability and continuous learning, organizations become better equipped to navigate future changes and challenges.

Change management in action

Here are some actionable ways to incorporate change management into strategy execution:

  • Craft a compelling communication plan: Develop a multi-channel communication strategy that clearly articulates the vision, goals, and rationale behind the change. This could involve town hall meetings, targeted emails, internal newsletters, and Q&A sessions. The goal of this plan is to ensure transparency and consistent messaging across all levels of the organization.
  • Invest in building capabilities: Equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the change effectively. This could involve providing training programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities. Remember, addressing knowledge gaps and fostering a learning culture is crucial for building confidence and encouraging active participation.
  • Empower change champions: Identify and cultivate champions within the organization who are passionate about the change and possess strong leadership skills. Empower them to act as advocates and peer mentors, providing support and guidance to their colleagues throughout the transition.
  • Embrace feedback and iterate: Regularly monitor progress and solicit feedback from employees at all levels. This data-driven approach allows you to identify potential roadblocks, adjust the implementation strategy as needed, and ensure that the change is aligned with employee needs and preferences. 

By recognizing the crucial role of change management and actively incorporating its principles, organizations can bridge the gap between strategy and action, turning plans into tangible results and paving the way for lasting success in an ever-evolving business landscape.


About the author

This article is written by Rami Al Tawil, the General Manager of Organizational Excellence at Al Saedan Real Estate Company. He holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology. With 19 years of expertise spanning strategy planning, performance management, business improvement, and more, he excels in aligning employees with strategic visions for consistent performance improvement.

The dynamic force of innovation strategy in data-driven transformation


Considering innovation as a system and having a goal to embed it within one’s organization is neither an easy task nor an impossible one. If this is the primary objective, and if this aligns with the consensus of all stakeholders, it becomes crucial, before commencing any actions, to adopt a mindset focused on innovation, akin to how one concentrates on developing the organizational direction to enhance revenue and profit.

This implies that to succeed, the same level of effort and methodology must be directed towards developing the organizational strategy and executing the most effective and efficient innovation methods. This involves clarifying the purpose, establishing the right mission (the reason behind the initiative and the desired impact), and defining values (principles guiding all stakeholders). Internal environmental analysis (identifying organizational strengths and weaknesses related to capabilities, resources, assets, skills, and competencies) and external environmental analysis (recognizing external opportunities and threats) are also crucial. Subsequent steps include performing SWOT analysis (aligning external opportunities and threats with internal strengths and weaknesses), conducting scenario planning (suggesting strategic scenarios based on SWOT analysis alignment to set necessary objectives), and identifying value drivers (features distinguishing the value generated from the innovation strategy).

Based on the aforementioned, it’s imperative to create a vision (the long-term goal for the innovation system), establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives, select appropriate and balanced key performance indicators (KPIs), develop sound and aligned initiatives (supporting the achievement of selected KPI targets and objectives), and consequently, disseminate the entire innovation strategy throughout the organization at all levels.

Consequently, all stakeholders must align themselves, identify their needs and expectations, and determine how to meet these through the innovation strategy. Subsequently, they should proceed with the execution process, understanding and acknowledging the clear alignment between the innovation strategy and the organizational strategy.

It is essential to view the innovation strategy as a core success domain for the organization, understanding that progress, improvement, and profit growth are interdependent with the innovation system. Moreover, it’s crucial to ensure the involvement of all stakeholders in this system, while embedding continuous improvement as the primary driver in maturing the system over time. Similar to excellence, innovation maturity is an ongoing journey that continually brings added value, which should be appreciated and built upon.

Data management in innovation strategy

The fourth industrial revolution has commenced. Linking it with innovation, transformation, future forecasting, and future change is pertinent, as they are all directly driven by and enabled by data management. Nowadays, the primary infrastructure for any company worldwide transitions from physical premises and branches to the cloud, where data are structured, organized, and interconnected, drawn from various sources such as customer interactions, product and service utilization, service and product development phases, defect management, product degradation, input and output resources.

This transition highlights that numerous data sources have been in place, yet not all have been utilized, analyzed, and transformed into information and knowledge. The shift towards big data and the advancements in artificial intelligence and conditional monitoring have changed the landscape. Decisions are now based on data, not just analyzed to reflect the current state but also organized and correlated to predict the future, facilitating decisions that secure not only the present or short-term future but also the long-term future.

This evolution underscores the importance of starting with the development of the right architecture to link various data sources, leveraging their mutual support and integration for greater benefit. It involves embedding in this architecture the correlation of data from different sources to build new components in the system architecture, adding value to the overall system. Understanding this aspect emphasizes the need to benefit from all data sources and install more sensors in development processes, products, streets, houses, cars, and everywhere, moving towards a products-as-a-service paradigm and eventually achieving the end goal of a planet-as-a-service, where data from everywhere are fed, analyzed, and used to identify new information and knowledge for the benefit of all.

Case analysis

The case study “Apple’s Future: Apple Watch, Apple TV, and/or Apple Car?” narrates Apple’s journey focusing on three products: smartwatches, smart TVs, and smart cars. It highlights how Apple has targeted the market and addressed customer needs to increase global market share and profit while enhancing the brand image. While this approach appears commendable, it aligns with the traditional viewpoint that continuous profit growth sustains a business.

However, from an alternative perspective, Apple has consistently aimed to shift from the red-ocean to the blue-ocean strategy, moving away from competition. The increasing number of competitors, open-source software, and global innovations necessitates larger leaps. Apple’s success also stems from co-creating value with its customers, understanding their needs, and embracing innovation and change.

Another facet is that Apple’s current endeavors represent a short-term strategy aimed at long-term value generation and delivery. Data serves as the primary driver, with all products and services yielding valuable data. This contradicts the notion that customers don’t know what they want; rather, it underscores the importance of understanding customer pain points and co-creating value with them.

Apple’s products evolve based on collected data and usage behaviors, generating new value with each iteration. The incorporation of health data into products like the smartwatch and analyzing consumer behaviors allows Apple to add value beyond traditional usage scenarios. Ultimately, Apple’s strategy mirrors a child playing a PlayStation game, controlling and directing the world. 

While this may seem daunting and scary, proper use of data-driven strategies can benefit everyone, provided they are employed ethically and responsibly and not end up as Mikhail Kalashnikov puts it: “The fact that people die because of an AK-47 is not because of the designer, but because of politics.”


About the Author

Malek Ghazo is a seasoned Senior Management Consultant with over 14 years of experience in the realm of organizational excellence (EFQM, 4G, Malcolm Baldrige), performance management, strategy planning/execution, and sustainability/CSR management. Throughout his career, he has cultivated expertise in developing benchmarking studies on an international scale. His clientele primarily consists of both public and private sector entities, to whom he provides invaluable services in organizational excellence, strategy planning and agile execution, KPIs and performance management models development and deployment, as well as EFQM model adoption and implementation. Geographically, Mr. Ghazo has dedicated his efforts to Europe (with a focus on the UK) and the Middle East, particularly in KSA, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan. Currently, he is engaged in pursuing his PhD at the University of Pécs in Hungary, with a focus on exploring the correlation between circular economy and organizational excellence and sustainability, aiming towards global sustainability.

Excellence in action: evaluating performance management practices for a promising organization


No matter where an organization stands on its journey, ensuring that its performance management practices are up to par can influence its progress. Done correctly, this could be the edge that sets it apart from the competition. 

The KPI Institute (TKI), through the efforts of the dedicated members of The Global Performance Audit (GPA) Unit, has successfully collaborated with the Talent and Performance Management Department of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) to evaluate the performance management practices of the organization. This evaluation encompasses various areas, such as strategic planning, corporate performance management, employee performance management, and organizational culture. 

The TDF is a young organization established in Saudi Arabia in 2020 with the mandate of driving growth in the national tourism sector by enabling private investments. With nearly 200 employees, the TDF has set up a formal division dedicated to managing strategy and performance. It comes with specialized departments responsible for handling key processes like strategic planning, corporate performance management, strategic initiatives portfolio, organizational excellence, research, and insights. Similarly, people’s performance and organizational culture are guided by specialized teams.

The KPI Institute’s maturity assessment for the division adhered to a holistic approach in both project coverage and methodology. In terms of coverage, the following organizational capabilities were evaluated: strategic planning, performance measurement, performance improvement, employee performance culture, and organizational culture.

Figure 1. Integrated Performance Management Maturity Model | Source: The KPI Institute

Regarding the methodology, TKI’s Integrated Performance Maturity Model includes a review of formal procedures and other official documentation (outputs) and insights from employees in the organization obtained through surveys and interviews with key internal stakeholders. All findings were rated against best practices using a scoring methodology, and the final score positioned the TDF on maturity level IV out of V (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Performance Management Maturity Level | Source: The KPI Institute

To read the full article and know more about the stages of a performance management system maturity assessment, download the PERFORMANCE Magazine Issue No. 27, 2023 – Government Edition now through TKI Marketplace

Unlock best practices that drive success in the government sector with insights from the Tourism Development Fund’s performance management practices evaluation. Get your hands on the physical copy of the magazine via Amazon

Democratizing strategy planning to improve employee engagement


Image source: danielvfung from Getty Images via Canva

Democratizing strategy planning refers to the process of involving various stakeholders of all organizational levels in the strategy formulation process. In the traditional approach, strategy planning is a top-down process formulated by selected stakeholders like the senior management and key decision makers. So, to make the process more inclusive and participatory, democratizing strategy planning comes into account. 

One of the main advantages of democratizing strategy planning is that it increases employee engagement. Thomas, K. W. (2009) discussed in his paper “Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What drives employee engagement” that when employees feel that their voice is heard within the organization,  they are more likely to feel connected and invested in the organizational success, which increases their motivation, commitment, and job satisfaction, and that means a lot for them as they feel more valued in the organization.

Another advantage of democratizing strategy planning is that it enhances ownership and accountability, which will be reflected in improved employee engagement, as employees who participate in the strategy planning feel a stronger sense of ownership and responsibility, which leads to extra accountability and willingness to go the extra mile in achieving the organizational objectives as per the psychological ownership theory, which emphasizes on the role of psychological ownership in influencing employee attitude and behavior which lead them to be more engaged, motivated and committed to their organization.

To implement democratized strategy planning, having and securing the leadership buy-in is crucial to its success, so it is necessary to present the benefits and potential of increasing employee engagement and fostering innovation in the organization. 

After getting leadership buy-in, we need to define a clear scope of where employee inputs would be more valuable, which is recommended to be initiative-specific in the beginning to avoid any potential analysis paralysis. In addition, it is vital to develop a precise feedback mechanism to capture different stakeholders’ diverse perspectives and ideas and recognize and reward participation.

This process will take time to be implemented correctly without any issues, so it is essential to mention that continuous improvement is critical to reach a practical approach. A great starting point is attending the Certified Strategy and Business Planning Professional course by The KPI Institute. Learn more about it and secure your slot here.

SWOT unleashed: how to master strategic excellence


Image source: DAPA Images | Canva

In the world of strategic planning, the guiding light of SWOT analysis looms overhead, illuminating the path of organizations as they strive toward success. SWOT is an abbreviation of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats; it is an effective framework that empowers businesses to navigate the complexities of decision-making. It offers a structured lens through which organizations can examine their internal resilience, vulnerabilities, external openings, and looming challenges. This comprehensive analysis serves as the cornerstone for strategic planning, innovative thinking, resource allocation, and adaptive strategies. 

At its heart, SWOT analysis is a well-organized exploration of what an organization does well and where it could improve (those are the internal bits), as well as the changes and challenges it faces from the outside world (that’s the external stuff). Think of it as seeing the bigger picture of where an organization is right now and where it might be headed in the future. It is more than just a tool; it’s a trusty compass that helps steer the ship through the twists and turns of business strategy.

The key components of SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis can be broken down into four key parts, each offering a unique perspective on the organization:

Strengths are the internal factors where the organization shines and stands out from its competitors. They could be things like having a strong brand, a loyal customer base, solid financials, cutting-edge technology, or highly skilled employees.

Weaknesses point to areas where the organization needs to improve to stay competitive. These might include having a weaker brand, high employee turnover, too much debt, inefficient processes, or outdated technology.

Opportunities are external factors that could give the organization an edge. These opportunities can arise from changes in market trends, shifts in demographics, evolving consumer preferences, or new regulations.

Threats are external factors that pose risks to the organization. These may include things like increased competition, rising material costs, economic downturns, shifts in consumer behaviour, or disruptions in the supply chain.

To present a SWOT analysis effectively, analysts often use a four-quadrant table, with each quadrant dedicated to one of the four components. Internal factors, strengths, and weaknesses are usually listed in the top row, while external factors, opportunities, and threats are placed in the bottom row. Strengths and opportunities, which are positive aspects, are positioned on the left side of the table, while weaknesses and threats, which are concerning elements, are placed on the right side.

How to conduct a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is not merely an academic exercise—it’s a practical tool for strategic planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting a SWOT analysis effectively:

  1. Identify your purpose

It’s crucial to have a clear focus, whether it’s evaluating a new product rollout, assessing a division’s performance, or guiding overall business strategy. Your objective will serve as a guiding star throughout the process.

  1. Collect required resources

Identify the resources and data you’ll need to conduct a thorough analysis. This includes both internal data, such as financial reports and employee feedback, and external data, like market research and industry trends. 

  1. Compose insights

With your team in place, initiate a brainstorming session for each of the four SWOT components. Encourage participants to contribute ideas and insights, even if they seem unconventional. Internal factors should be explored for strengths and weaknesses, while external factors should be assessed for opportunities and threats.

  1. Filter outcomes

After the brainstorming session, you will likely have many ideas within each category. The next step is to filter and prioritize these findings. Engage in discussions and debates to determine the most critical strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the organization. 

  1. Develop the strategy

Armed with a prioritized list of SWOT elements, it’s time to convert the analysis into a strategic plan. Your analysis team will produce the findings and provide guidance on the original objective. For example, if the analysis was conducted to assess cybersecurity issues like outdated systems, the strategic plan may recommend investing in better tech and checking security regularly or partnering with cybersecurity experts for assistance.

Real-world SWOT analysis examples

To show how useful SWOT analysis is in real life, let’s look at two real-world examples:

Tesla, Inc. effectively employs SWOT analysis in navigating the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Their strengths encompass innovative technology, a robust brand, and global reach, and their challenges include production issues and elevated costs. They find opportunities in the promising EV market and expansion into the energy sector while facing threats from intense competition and evolving regulations. Tesla’s strategic approach, influenced by this analysis, emphasizes innovation, global expansion, diversification into energy solutions, managing competition, and compliance with regulations. 

Amazon, the global e-commerce giant, exemplifies how SWOT analysis shapes strategic choices. Its strengths encompass e-commerce dominance and a culture of innovation. Challenges include slim profit margins and counterfeit products. Opportunities are found in expanding markets and global reach, while threats come from intense competition and evolving regulations. Amazon’s strategy revolves around customer-centric innovation, diversification, global expansion, marketplace integrity, competition management, and regulatory compliance. This SWOT-influenced approach ensures that Amazon maintains its leadership, fosters innovation, and adapts to changing market dynamics by leveraging strengths, addressing weaknesses, seizing opportunities, and mitigating threats.

Just like how we use different tools for different tasks, the SWOT analysis isn’t our only option. It’s more like a trusty friend that works alongside other friends in your planning adventure. Through SWOT analysis, you can make smarter decisions, be more creative, and adapt to changes in the world—as you would with good friends by your side.


This article is written by Chadia Abou Ghazale, a seasoned banking professional with 24 years of experience and who excels in budgeting, sales performance management, data analysis, and resource planning. Beyond banking, she is a dedicated reader of self-development topics and passionate networker. Chadia believes that life’s purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Her extensive expertise and unwavering enthusiasm are a dynamic combination, driving success in her career and enriching her life’s adventurous journey.


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