According to The Conference Board, year over year, strategy execution continues to be the overall ranking concern for businesses. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 it was actually listed as one of the top 3 ranking concerns, and now it is considered the “norm” and therefore it acts as the umbrella to actually running your business or not!
The 2011 review from The Conference Board highlights this best:
“The three “most important” strategies that CEOs pick to deal with their top challenges reflect the growing complexity of the global business environment. They also highlight the need for the coordinated interaction of diverse parts within their organizations. Meeting these challenges will demand clear organizational alignment, teamwork, and, not least of all, strong, thoughtful, and visionary leadership.”
So then what is Execution? An over used term and most recently, within the last 5-10 years used to denote how a business actually implements, effectively, their strategies, across the entire business.
If this is such a big concern in business, regardless of size, then why is it that businesses cannot seem to get a proper handle it? Do they have a clear Vision (actionably, who and what the company is now and in the future); Do they have clearly identified Strategies (top 3-5) to support the vision for the current fiscal year; does everyone in the business know the Vision and Strategies and most importantly does everyone in business use them to measure and manage against?
When we speak of strategy execution, the questions are clear, yet the definitions and use are as clear as mud! It is paramount to be able to have simple measurements that integrate, such as CNCs real-time and on-going strategic diagnostics, to measure what is being done – against the vision and strategies – and never, ever discounting the importance and combination of management – personally and leadership wise – to insure that effective strategic execution is happening. If you cannot measure it, then you cannot manage it!