What’s more important strategy or execution? I argue they are both equally important.

Here’s what we know anecdotally:

  • Too many companies have poor execution of their strategy.
  • We seldom hear about companies with great execution and a poor strategy.

Many top executives see their role as setting strategy. Yet, they are too trusting that their strategy will be properly executed by their teams. It is not feasible to simply “set it and forget it.” Executing strategy requires vigilance. 

The problem stems from not aligning the teams with the strategy and holding people accountable for executing their portion of the strategy. Poor execution of a great strategy leads to disappointment or worse.

What costs top executives their jobs? Poor execution of strategy.

The business world is littered with executives who had great strategic intentions but could not drive actual execution. This is an age-old business problem.

There’s another issue that often gets short shrift: overloading teams with so much work that they cannot possibly succeed.

If all a team had to do was focus on strategic initiatives, they might stand a chance of succeeding. When they are also buried with day-to-day responsibilities, there may be insufficient capacity to get everything accomplished. Yet, somehow there’s an expectation that, “if the team works a bit harder and is more focused, they will overcome the burden of expectations that are set too high.” This is almost laughable.

There’s got to be balance. While it is perfectly fine to have stretch goals, the team should not feel as though there is no way to win.

Are you interested in accelerating your growth? Call me so we can have a discussion about a process and tools that can help you and your company thrive at strategy execution.

 

Thought for the week:

“My future starts when I wake up in the morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” Miles Davis, jazz trumpet player extraordinaire
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.

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