Corporate strategy is a high-level, long term, competitive-environmentally based, plan for how a company will behave, operate, and compete in its chosen markets and geographies in order to support the corporate vision, achieve company goals, and meet stakeholder expectations. Once defined, many companies will not take the time to integrate these strategies into operational plans, or change those plans if the strategy needs to change.
It is our experience that most companies have a high-level strategy yet struggle to implement their strategy effectively. Often this is due to a myopic view of the future… largely stemming from an inability to accurately self-assess the current state of the business and identify the gaps between the existing and desired capabilities. Consequently, most companies will create operational plans based on current capabilities as opposed to the capabilities needed to execute the strategy, thus falling short of meeting strategic objectives. Required capabilities are dependent upon the constantly changing business environment and most planning and operational processes are not agile enough to adapt to critical environmental changes. Strategies become less applicable as the environment changes and often no one seems to notice until it is too late.
Strategy Execution is a necessarily rigorous process that structures the details concerning: what must done, why it is must be done, how it is done, when it is to be completed, and who is responsible for the results. Additionally, there must be feedback mechanisms built into execution plans to ensure strategic objectives are being met, and provide a function for re-evaluation and adjustment. Execution is carried out by organizing the enterprise to define and implement the operational tasks that support the strategic goals. Having defined the Strategy Elements for the business, this area focuses on the process rigor needed to effectively carry out the strategy and the operational plans.
Strategy Execution links corporate strategy elements to executable operational plans. These plans include:
- Performance milestones
- Detailed project plans to achieve the milestones
- Required resources and skill-sets
- Required capabilities and investments
- Desired organizational structure
- Performance measures and metrics
- Incentives and reward structures
- Constraints (barriers to success)
If operational plans are not enabling the manifestation of core strategic elements, the operational plans need to stop, or be modified. These feedback loops are critical to accomplishing rapid change.
BLMC has been helping companies with Strategy Execution for over 30 years and considers this discipline a core consulting competence. We specialize in helping clients achieve a competitive advantage by helping them translate their business strategy into effective detailed operational plans and timelines, and in helping clients quickly implement those plans. The typical results yield rapid entry into new markets and businesses, moving to a dominant competitive position in existing markets, changing to a customer-centric focus from a product-centric focus, and ultimately increasing the perceived value by customers. It is our experience that companies engaging in this rigor will accomplish several years of strategy objectives in half of the time.