Strategy and execution in organizations
Strategies, decisions, choices, visions, implementation. These concepts are found in every organization’s vocabulary. However, not all organizations understand the full meaning of the terms, thus resulting a series of unsatisfactory outcomes. Richard Rumelt, in his book Good Strategy / Bad Strategy, talks about the way leaders of organizations misinterpret the meaning of strategy: “Leaders are misleading people (…) They are using this word, this concept, and are not delivering on it.” It is crucial to comprehend the terms and separate them in order to successfully develop and implement an idea in an organization.
Quite often organization leaders have great visions in what regards the way things are to be done in their company. However, a vision is not enough. In order to see a certain idea working it is necessary to do a lot more than just assess information and make decisions. Once the plan is created, the leader is responsible for getting everyone in the company involved in the implementation process. It is primordial to structure the plan and assign responsibilities, so that everyone knows what they are supposed to do.
It is quite easy to decide on strategy. What stands as a considerable difficulty is execution. And this is one of the most frequent issues in a company. Michel Syrett, author of Successful Strategy Execution, says that the difficulty consists of people thinking of strategy and execution as different things. The two concepts are strictly connected and leaders not knowing this are headed towards a failure of their plan. Once you create a plan, it is important to see it through.
And how does one see a plan through? Well, first of all, by doing a great deal of thinking. In order to make the best decision, one has to create several tangible options from which to choose. Cesare Mainardi, chief executive of Booz & Company, states that the key to execution is a right strategy that meets all abilities and possibilities of the company. Budget holds an important position in the implementation of a plan, and the leader is responsible for an adequate allocation of resources. The necessity of proper allocation should not be neglected, as quite often money tends to be spent on projects that are not urgent or for the benefit of certain departments. Furthermore, all the members of the team should be properly informed about the implementation process. Consulting the team is beneficial to the development of the plan, and much attention should be paid to the feedback and its contribution to the initial plan.
It is important for the well-functioning of an organization to focus on a constant improvement of work processes and especially on getting things done. It’s no good for a company to have a leader with great, outstanding visions if he does not possess the ability and the knowledge to put them in practice. It’s just like having the latest model of an automobile, but not knowing how to drive it and having no choice of destinations.
To put it in a nutshell, one may easily conclude that the best way to lead an organization towards success is to possess the knowledge that gives birth to visions and foremost the ability to turn those visions into real, tangible results.
- Chynoweth, C. (2011), Spare us a vision, give us a strategy, The Sunday Times Online
- Chynoweth, C. (2012), Don’t think…just do it!, The Sunday Times Online
- Rumelt, R. (2011), Good Strategy / Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters, Crown Publishing
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