The organizations that struggle seem to follow a similar scenario which looks something like this:
- Before a new fiscal year starts, there is a concerted drive to develop/refine the next year’s strategic plan, and by the year's end, each
department puts together their execution objectives, initiatives and key tactics to make the strategy happen. These plans are
shared/presented, often with much fanfare, throughout the organization. Core projects might or might not be included.
- With the start of the next year, more often than not, these plans lay dormant in Power Point presentations on shared drives, for the next
quarter, or sometimes, until the next year…when the process starts again.
Organizations with this scenario do not use the information they put in their plans to proactively lead/refine their actions, nor do they have any idea whether or not their actions enabled effective implementation of the strategies port forth in the strategic plan. In other words, good strategies are rewarded…not good execution. What has stumped most strategy professionals and quite a few CEO’s, however, is what to do to remedy this situation. Solutions range from improving company leadership, communication, and culture. We would like to offer an alternate way of looking at the problem…that has proven successful for many companies. This new discipline leverages many of the strengths of new evolving ‘agile’ methodologies yet supports use of a wide variety of tools and processes, including Lean, 6 Sigma, balanced scorecard, Hoshin, OKR’s and now Agile.
What we have seen is that these tools can all be made to work successfully…provided there are principles and a framework for them to succeed. We would like to offer this context for a field we are calling Agile Strategy Execution.
The following are the 3 principles of Agile Strategy Execution:
1. Alignment: Strategies, goals and tactics that are cascaded, linked and coordinated
2. Accountable: Data and outcome driven team buy-in & ownership
3. Responsiveness: Ongoing adaptation to support changing landscapes
In the next several blogs, we will be discussing these 3 principles and the Agile Strategy Execution Framework. It will follow the current best practices of our industry, inclusive of tools and techniques currently in use.
--We believe Strategy Execution is too important a discipline to leave as a presentation on an organization's shared drive-- ... what do you think?