Corporate theatre or real strategy?
There’s a common belief that strategy happens at management level, leaving everybody else to take care of the execution. The reality is that execution involves a series of key choices that are just as important as the strategic choices – leading to a better design and a better chance of success.
‘Excellence in execution’ tops the list of challenges facing global CEOs year after year. It seems like an obvious concern, but the real issue is coming up with better answers to help bridge the gap between strategy and impact.
A good starting point is to evaluate the way in which your company thinks about strategy and execution, because this is ultimately reflected in the implementation. Given that less than 33% of strategies and must-wins deliver the expected impact, this is definitely an area that needs a closer look.
One overarching and limiting belief is that strategy and execution are two separate distinct activities. This often leads to a situation where strategy only takes place at management level and the execution lands at the feet of the rest of the organisation as they settle down to watch the obligatory PowerPoint presentation.
A lack of organisational engagement and slow and inadequate ‘execution’ follow. But it is a lack understanding of what strategy is that is the original sin.
Over the last 20 years, we’ve been part of hundreds of ‘strategy processes’. Some of them with real transformative impact and others that were more like ‘corporate theatre’. Going through the motions of what you ‘always do’. Everyone playing their part. Beautiful PowerPoint slides. But as the curtain closes, you’re left with a lot of blank faces in the audience.
Building on our last post, ‘5 things we should consider when strategising’, we’ve put together a list of the typical mistakes companies make that can lead to corporate theatre.
Think about how these points might impact your own design, and consider putting your strategy through a ‘detox’ to create more impact.
At Implement, we see strategy as the key enabler in a transformational process – when it’s done right. We challenge conventional strategy consulting through a collaborative approach, which engages the organisation and makes people own their key choices. Our approach to strategy is founded on the belief that it is a design rather than a problem to be solved. We drive real transformations and real conversations with real people.
5 things we should consider when strategising
Implement Consulting Group