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Monday, November 27, 2006

Business Strategy: What Matters Is Execution

If you take a look at business strategy under a microscope, you'll find one critical element come into focus:

Creating strategy is easy -- implementing it is very difficult.

So how do we bridge the gap between developing strategy and executing strategy?
First, we need to understand that making strategy work (execution) is more difficult than setting a strategic course (developing the strategy.) Execution - ultimately is also more important.
Only recently have people begun to realize that effective execution is a competitive business advantage. Companies are now seeing that if they execute better, they perform better.
Many business leaders dream up ambitious scenarios and strategies, but leave the execution of strategy to their team members.
BOTTOMLINE: When business leaders separate the strategic planning and the "doing" (execution) - they're missing the big point. Strategy requires buy-in at all levels, from corporate level managers on down. The greater the overlap of doers and planners, the greater probability of success. It's critical for business leaders to be thinking about execution as they are formulating the plans. Who's going to actually "do" all this work?? Execution is a process, and not an action or a step. And execution involves more people than strategy formation.

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