Saturday, November 22, 2008


"Strategy gets you on the playing field, but execution pays the bills"
- Gordon E. Eubanks, former President and CEO, Symantec Corporation

As I sip through coffee glazing over the Forbes magazing, I am surprised to read that:

"82% of Fortune 500 CEOs surveyed indicated that they feel their organization did an effective job of strategic planning. Only 14% of the same CEOs indicated that their organization did an effective job of implementing the strategy".

Corporate Strategies are intellectually simple; their execution is not. The question is, can you execute? That's what differentiates you. While most organizations have the strategy, they lack an actual strategy-execution process. Some organizations cannot articulate their strategy in a clear, simple, consistent voice - a requirement for enabling discussion and encouraging followership.

Sadly, many employees don't understand the corporate aims of their organization, let alone see themselves as an integral part of the solution. Harvard Business School findings suggest that 95% of employees do not understand their organization's strategy. Do your employees understand? or even if you are running a program or initiative, does your team understand... how this helps the organizations' strategy?

A group of U.S senators were visiting NASA at a time when funding was being threatened. One senator asked a man cleaning the floor, "So, what are you doing here?" The man answered, "I'm here putting a man on the moon"

Linking strategies to execution remains a key component of achieving business value. Last year I presented a method/technique for creating this link... and was well received, but the more projects I execute and more experience I gain, I understand the importance of this link more deeply.

In one of my recent engagements, I saw top leadership doing a great job of executing and more precisely they were able to close this gap between strategy and execution. Basically boils down to effective leadership.

So when folks say project/program managers are lateral thinking....and have an adminitrative focus... and not innovative focus, I tend to disagree. More and more execution of strategy happens with effective leadership, hence the project/program managers who consistently succeed show a relentless capability to innovate.

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