Maneuver and Values-Based Leadership in Business

Interactive forum for the exchange of ideas pertaining to: the experiences of the change management consulting and hands-on leadership training firm, Santamaria & Martino LLC and the message of our book, The Marine Corps Way, which applies military strategy and leadership to business

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Friday, July 01, 2005

NEW BOOK: Making Strategy Work

In the recently released Making Strategy Work, Wharton professor Lawrence Hrebiniak "sheds powerful new light on why businesses fail to deliver on even their most promising strategies" and "offers a comprehensive, disciplined process for making strategy work in the real world. "

We enjoyed Dr. Hrebiniak's book and wanted to highlight the findings of two surveys that served as its inspiration:

  • A joint research project between the Gartner Group and the Wharton School, which asked 243 managers involved in strategy formulation and execution about the biggest challenges they faced as they made decisions and took actions to execute their company's strategy to gain competitive advantage
  • A similar survey conducted by Wharton Executive Education that asked the same question to 200 managers

According to the two surveys, the Top 8 Obstacles to Strategy Execution were as follows:

  1. Inability to manage change effectively or to overcome internal resistance to change
  2. Trying to execute strategy that conflicts with the existing power structure
  3. Poor or inadequate information sharing between individuals or business units responsible for strategy execution
  4. Unclear communication of responsibility and/or accountability for execution decisions or actions
  5. Poor or vague strategy
  6. Lack of feelings of "ownership" of a strategy or execution plans among key employees
  7. Not having guidelines or a model to guide stategy-execution efforts
  8. Lack of understanding of the role of organizational structure and design in the execution process

The surveys also mentioned a few additional results of execution methods as being highly problematical:

  • Employees don't understand how their jobs contribute to important execution outcomes
  • Time and money are wasted because of inefficiency or bureaucracy in the execution process
  • Execution decisions take too long to make
  • The company reacts slowly or inappropriately to competitive pressures (p20)

These findings have prompted us to launch a 3-part series on how we helped a client effect major cultural change. This series will begin on 5 July, and we hope you find it useful.

Please send an e-mail to info@santamariamartino.com if you would like us to notify you of new postings, which will occur on the fifth day of each month

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