Agile Strategy Execution
Revolutionizing the How!
Agile Strategy Execution
Breaking new ground with expert guidance for leaders and strategy execution practitioners on how to revolutionize the way we execute strategy.
Leaders of most firms today are painfully aware of how difficult it is to execute strategies effectively in their organizations. Industry research has well documented this reality, with the success needle barely moving over the past 20 years.
Based on customer experiences both large and small, we've built a revolutionary approach that we are calling the Agile Strategy Execution Framework. This framework is composed of Six Dimensions and two enabling Influencing Factors, which are summarized as follows:
The Agile Strategy Execution Framework
Detailed Plans and Metrics - Develop & translate breakthrough org. goals, objectives & strategies into area, team & individual plans & associated metrics.
Align and Link - Align & link objectives, goals, projects, programs, tactics & process improvement efforts, both vertically & cross- functionally.
Real-Time Updates - Institutionalize a transparent Single Source of Truth (online) for collaboration, engagement & reporting. Drive real-time plan updates based on day to day triggers, ensuring prioritized & scheduled work.
Cadence Decisions - Ensure proactive real-time resourcing, course correcting solutions & backlog management decision-making processes.
Innovation Bets - Identify & execute small opportunities to study, pilot or test new innovations, reflecting current market conditions or new technologies.
Refresh/Transform - Reassess core business assumptions, updating strategic plans & tactics, reviewing priorities, linkages/alignment & pivot as needed.
Culture - Assess formal vs. informal, and preached vs. practiced corporate culture. Leaders use their culture as an enabling driver for managing change or initiate processes to drive needed culture change.
Connected Governance - Use leading edge digitization to link leadership practices, employee engagement mechanisms & collaboration processes.
In addition, the authors share details of the Agile Strategy Execution Maturity Model, used to help organizations assess their progress in executing strategy with more agility on an evolving scale & ascertain where they would like to be in the future. The Agile Strategy Execution Framework can then be used to target improvement areas & provide guideposts/methods as to how to move up the agile strategy execution maturity curve.
In the Appendix are a select number of techniques and templates that the authors have found useful to help jumpstart improvement efforts. The ASE Framework has been presented through the eyes of organizations where it has been successfully used. The authors’ expect this book will help leaders and strategy practitioners revolutionize how they execute strategy by becoming more agile in an aligned, accountable and responsive way.
In conclusion, what makes strategy execution agile is an ecosystem focused on alignment (both functional and cross-functional), accountability (through data-driven with team and individual buy-in and ownership) and responsiveness (to changing internal and external landscapes). In this way strategies and tactics can be continuously adapted, pivoted and realigned to meet execution performance expectations in an agile way.
"Clemson and Leeds have really hit on something big here. ...Their practical and straightforward approach hones in on the key challenges in strategy execution with new innovations in the areas of "agile thinking" and "connected governance". I'd recommend this book for anyone engaged in setting strategic direction and managing execution of strategies." Jim Stockmal, President, Association for Strategic Planning
“Being a small firm in a fiercely competitive market, agile strategy execution is critical to our success. Using the principles outlined in this book as a guide, in less than 12 months, we have been able to successfully assess and improve our approach in some really innovative ways.” – Jared Hamilton, CEO - Driving Sales
"ASE allows for increased efficiency and profitability by granting every user the opportunity to evaluate his or her goals, execute key initiatives, and ultimately optimize company performance globally. I view ASE as communication framework that has assisted me in managing my entire business “ – Joel Welde, President, Medical Indicators Inc.
“Agile Strategy Execution™ is an invaluable resource highlighting the role of process in strategy delivery. The guidance, tools and approaches are presented in a simple and intuitive way, making them readily usable to bring strategy to life and ensure critical cultural engagement, alignment, accountability and responsiveness that ultimately delivers the results.” - Craig Shields Senior Director, Global Ops Strategy, Abbott
“I have found many of the ASE framework, principles & techniques to be very useful in developing, refreshing & coordinating the global strategies for our 25 divisions & 230 geographic communities. It’s a really innovative contribution to the field.” – Ha Dao, ASQ Member-Board of Directors, Co-Chair ASQ Strategic Planning Committee
"In order to successfully embed agility into strategy management and execution applying what Leeds & Clemson elegantly define as Connected Governance is a must." - Chris Hefner, President of Strategic Planning Society
"This book has been a valuable asset for me as an internal strategy practitioner interested in improving strategy execution throughout our organization." – Shannon Lechtenberg, Manager, Strategy Execution - Great River Energy
"Imagine leading a learning organization that thinks and acts strategically--at every level, and with the capacity to improve execution every year. Imagine a set of best practices to provide a path to new levels of excellence in your organization. Then read this book!" James L. Koch Don C. Dodson Distinguished Service Professor of Management, Former Dean of the Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University
Gaye I. Clemson is an award winning storyteller, communications and training innovator, culture change leader, metrics-performance designer and planning process facilitator who brings many years of strategy and key initiative portfolio execution management expertise. She has held a number of functional roles in marketing, sales, international business and customer support.
She currently leads Globalinkage Consulting, a consultancy that helps firms strengthen employee engagement, improve organizational performance and evolve their operating models to enable innovative governance and decision-making processes. She speaks frequently at national and local industry conferences including most recently the NCHRA Global HR Summit, ASP National Conferences (2006, 2009 & 2015) the Bay Area’s Strategy Execution Conference (Oct 2014). She is a published author of nine oral history narratives. She holds an Honours BCom from Queen’s University at Kingston and is a Stanford Certified Project Manager.
Alan Leeds is the president of Agile Strategy Agile Strategy Manager, a strategy to execution software division of Y-Change Inc., a software company enabling progressive companies to convert strategy into reality. His expertise in agile strategy deployment, execution, change management methodologies and online software has helped companies deliver tangible operating results in organizations such as Raytheon, Cisco Systems, and Texas Instruments, Abbott Medical Optics and Great River Energy.
An ASP (Association for Strategic Planning) Certified Strategic Management Professional (SMP), Alan is also on their Board of Directors, and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2012. He was instrumental in the founding of the NorCal Chapter of the ASP. As a thought leader in strategic planning and agile strategy execution, and strategy community, he has produced high quality software tools for planners across the country. Alan holds a Masters degree from SUNY and a BS from Syracuse University. Alan’s speaking engagements have included a presentation for the PMI conference at Sonoma State, several national conferences for the ASP and the Agile2016 conference in Atlanta. As an award-winning magician, he often incorporates magic into his presentations.