Most of us think about decision quality - making the right call - when we think about strategic decision making. But it turns out speed is also vitally important. More CEO's are ousted for indecisiveness than for wrong decisions. Too many companies know that they are slow, but don't know what to do about it.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO describes their approach to high velocity decision making. It is predicated on maintaining a Day 1 mindset. ‘Day 2’ companies make high quality decisions, but they make them slowly. For Bezos, Day 2 is stasis, followed by irrelevance and excruciating, painful decline.
Are you a Day 1 company? What does your extended leadership team think? And what practices can you put in place to accelerate decision speed in your organisation?
DDB ... a strategist's view Read More
When you teach an MBA strategy class it is interesting to reflect on what sticks? After 12 weeks, what frameworks have struck a chord with the students? The MBA cohort offer an interesting perspective, because they are often middle managers ... and middle managers are the backbone of an organisation: they connect the 'head' and the 'feet'. I outline here three themes that 'stuck' with my latest MBA cohort: strategy execution playbook; strategic readiness; and 'fit'. Read More
I've written a lot about strategy execution recently, but it begins with a shared understanding of what strategy actually is. Strategy has four dimensions to it: perspective; position; plan and patterns. You need to understand each of these if you are to overcome the strategy-2-execution challenges.
Next time you are having a conversation about strategy execution, begin with the question: what is strategy? And don’t settle for the simple answers. Growth doesn’t occur without some level of discomfort. Are you willing to sustain the discomfort necessary for this conversation? Read More
The first step to solving a problem is to recognise you have one. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recognises his biggest challenges now are execution. Do you have an execution challenge?
But before you can execute, can you summarise your strategy in 35 words or less? Would your colleagues put it the same way? And would they recognise the same top five priorities? Check out what the research tells us.
On execution, too many organisations are serial under-performers. What specific action steps will take your organisation's strategy execution to the next level. We have developed an Execution Playbook to help clients tackle the challenge of execution. Read More
My previous blog on execution provoked this lament from one reader:
“See, this is what shits me. We don't want to take the time to actually consider the execution piece of our 'strategy'. Once we have something that looks pretty on paper we then go back to bidding work willy nilly and trying to operationally improve our projects on an individual basis.”
I had written about the socio-cultural elements that could bring much greater success to your strategy execution efforts. But this only works if you have the fundamentals in place. Unfortunately organisations often experience an 'air gap' between strategy and execution.
This blog highlights the gap between the 'what' and the 'how' of strategy execution. Mintzberg's mantra of 'codify; elaborate; convert' offers a sound process to close this gap.
You can't solve a problem you haven't defined. Do you have a strategy-execution air gap?
At a recent workshop a client expressed the fear that she felt stuck when thinking about strategy execution. That's not surprising. Research consistently shows that organisations massively under-perform on strategy execution.
I outline five practices here that will give you a winning edge when it comes to strategy execution. Execution is not a trivial part of managerial work: it defines the essence of that work. Read More
Last week I posted a note on the strategy vs. execution debate. A friend and colleague emailed me to say he thought it was a good post … but he disagreed! We’re having an interesting exchange off line, but he raised the issue of accountability. His view: accountability for the success of a strategy rests with those who develop a strategy … they are therefore unable to walk away prior to execution as their job is not complete.
Absolutely. But I suggest a more layered approach to thinking about accountabilities for strategy.
There are three distinctive layers of ‘activity’, with each one the primary accountability of a particular level in the hierarchy: viz. Read More
It is widely accepted that most businesses struggle to effectively execute their strategies. Many organisations have tried to meet this challenge with the implementation of PMO's. But the research suggests there are fundamental issues to be addressed before the PMO can really add value. Read More