– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

7 rules for turning strategy into performance

OliverStrategic planning and strategy implementation seem to be linked with a lot of problems. Well, I say planning AND implementation, because you can find a large variety of definitions for the term strategic planning. In the academic literature differences can be found in process structure and number of process steps as well as in different starting and ending steps for this process.  Some of these process models define strategic control as the endpoint. Adverse to this some models describe strategy implementation as the endpoint.

However, my current focus is on the paper “Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance” by MANKINS and STEELE. They have developed seven rules that will support the planning process as well as the implementation phase. These rules are:

  • Keep it simple, make it concrete. This rule will help organisations to be headed in the same strategic direction.
  • Debate assumptions, not forecasts.
  • Use a rigorous framework and speak a common language.
  • Discuss critical resource deployments early 
  • Clearly identify priorities. (I guess that is the point where a lot of managers might fail…)
  • Continuously monitor performance….and analyse discrepancies as soon as possible.
  • Reward and develop execution capabilities.

I would like to add some other “rules” to this seven. I think the following conditions also represent other major premises, which are essential to achieve a successful implementation of a corporate strategy:

  • Right from the beginning of strategy development all managers should be involved to establish identification with the new strategy.
  • Managers have a function as role model. Therefore they have to support the new strategy and have to express this clearly.
  • Since the implementation of a strategy can not only be achieved by top- and middle managers, all employees should be linked with the implementation. This has to be ensured by an appropriate communication. Motivation and engagement play a major role.
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