Strategy execution is about delivering on the strategy promise by fully closing the strategy-to-execution gap, since strategy becomes meaningful only when it is executed. Hence, strategy execution is about harvesting the full potential of the business, and not limiting oneself to only 50, 60 or 70 per cent. It is the result of thousands of decisions made by the leadership teams and staff on the promise to implement the strategy every day.
Strategy execution has always been a difficult challenge in a changing business environment. Perhaps, it is even more so today considering the pace of change in most industries and in today’s fast moving world. A common understanding is that creating a strategy is nothing compared to executing it successfully. This is probably true most of the time, since generally it is much easier to create a strategy than making people commit and realise it.
There is nothing new in saying that leadership is critical for execution, but an organisation can execute its strategy only if the leader’s heart and mind are immersed in the company and its vision of the future. Leading is much more than just thinking strategically and attempting to inspire people with visions while managers and staff down-the-line do the work. Execution requires active involvement. Leaders need to use their knowledge and wisdom to constantly probe the closure of the strategy-to-execution gap. They must bring areas of weaknesses to light and rally people to address them. Organisations that are strong on execution understand this and their employees take own initiatives to make the strategy happen. Remember, only the ones who make it happen have a chance to succeed.