Strategy Execution Blog

Bridging the Strategy and Execution gap

How to bridge the strategy execution gap

One of the problems with an organisations strategy and its execution is the disconnect between the two. 

A CEO lays out his Strategy and the direction he wants the company to take, but how does he make this relatable to the rest of the organisation, join everyone to the strategy and get people to work on the actions and tasks required to deliver it?  

According to results of a Brightline special report by The Economist Intelligence Unit “Most companies struggle to bridge the gap. 59% of survey respondents admit that their organisations often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy development and its practical, day-to-day implementation”.

According to  Harvard Business White Paper Why Strategy Alignment Matters-and How to Achieve It "To successfully execute a new strategy in today's fast-changing business landscape, organizations must accelerate the pace of building critical senior-level alignment and ownership around the strategy's vision, goals, and approach to change.  Only then can they cascade the new strategy down to every level and out to every corner in the organization"

Picture the scene, an organisation is establishing its key strategies, priorities and objectives for the year ahead. The CEO is clear about what he wants to achieve (his value-creation plan). He identifies his top three things (value-drivers), then starts formulating the operational objectives and actions beneath these.

Next, he needs to present his value-creation plan to his direct reports and challenge them to identify their top three value drivers, as well as critical success factors. In turn, these executives ask their direct reports to do the same thing.

The value-creation plan then needs to be cascaded all the way down through the organisation, to each individual contributor and team member. You want to make them part of the process, but more importantly, you want everyone in the organisation to be able to answer the question, “What do you do that contributes to the organisations Value-Creation plan?”.

Meeting the challenge of connecting strategy and execution

Connecting the business strategy to everyone in the organisation is step 3 in the 9 steps to Perfect Strategy Execution and Control and is vital to align effort towards operational objectives, strategy execution and value creation.

If each person knows, sees the value they contribute to the operational objectives, then they are more likely to be motivated, and feel empowered, to execute the strategy. Focusing on the actions that contribute to value prevents wasted time and money executing initiatives that do not contribute to the business plan. This approach can be tough and demanding because it requires detailed thought about what it takes to execute these strategies.

How can individuals see what they are contributing?

Effective value-plan creation, cascading the value-plan throughout the organisation, connecting the value-plan to different divisions, business units, projects and the operational goals, enables each person in the organisation to know what they need to do to add value this week, this month, this quarter, and this year.

Rolling this up from the bottom to the top aligns expectations between the Board, the C-Level and the rest of the organisation and improves Financial Reporting, meaning leaders know not only how well the organisation is performing but how individual performance is adding value.

According to Harvard Business White Paper Why Strategy Alignment Matters-and How to Achieve It "regardless of the nature and direction of a strategic change an organisation wants to make, Senior leaders must be aligned with it".

7 ways to bridge the strategy execution gap

  1. Make sure senior leaders are aligned with the strategy
  2. Build ownership around the strategy's vision
  3. Cascade the strategy to every corner of the organisation
  4. Connect everyone to the strategy
  5. Empower people to deliver on the strategy
  6. Monitor individual performance
  7. Celebrate and reward success

What Next?

Could the right strategy execution solution help you reach your strategy execution goals?  EXM is a powerful strategy execution solution that

  • Provides the vital link between the formulation of your strategy and its effective execution.
  • Can turn your beautiful strategy slide deck into something tangible that your teams can deliver.
  • Puts focus on translating the CEO’s big ideas into a set of projects that make it real.
  • Gives team members the ability to measure their contribution in real-time. 

Are you ready to take the next steps in developing the digital fitness to transform your strategy execution capabilities?   Schedule your strategy execution call and dive deeper into the actions you can take to maximise the delivery of your value-creation plan. 

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Topics: Strategy Execution