“Action without Vision is passing time, vision without action is day-dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Building the right strategy for an organisation is a cathartic exercise – it marries the essence of an organisations purpose with goals that inspire forward momentum.
But as the quote from Nelson Mandela highlights, and the model below shows, to be effective strategy and execution are intertwined, there is a symbiotic relationship between them.
Developing strategy requires reflection, research, foresight and objectivity. Execution requires resources, grit and determination as Jim Collins* says, to get the Fly Wheel moving and to commit to the Twenty Mile March. In addition, both Strategy and Execution require ‘fuel’…
The ‘fuel’ of course is Leadership and Culture. These provide both the inspiration and the determination to continue the journey when the first roadblocks appear and when the results don’t quite reach the plan.. Providing the fuel sits squarely on the shoulders of the leadership, the CEO, the board and Leadership Team. The fuel, its flow and potency (high octane, low octane) regulate the speed of how the organisation pushes through its transformation agenda…
Marrying strategy and execution is not a set the plan and forget exercise – it is dynamic. As the model above shows as the organisation transforms, the change process needs to iterate, reflecting the evolutionary (or revolutionary) changes continually happening.
The CEOs role in this journey is succinctly put by Cameron Schwab** who says there are some things only the CEO can do (abbreviated)
- Link the external world with the internal organisation
- Balance the present with the future
- Shape the values and standards
See my “The Right Strategy Workshop” if you want to think differently about your Strategy and Execution process in 2021.