Knowledge Center


Article -> Survival Through Strategy & Execution

Date Added: June 2008

NOTE: This article appeared in the June 22, 2008 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Organizations face constant challenges to achieve sustainable profits and growth. Execution is the key to achieving these and it is accomplished via employees. Everyone is responsible for execution; however, who leads it? Not the CEO.

CEOs are responsible for developing strategy and helping achieve it. Yet, CEOs shouldn’t be executing it – nor have the time for this. CEOs should be visionaries, taking things to the next level.

Two of the top three CEO challenges from recent research are “consistent execution of strategy” and “excellence in execution.” Also, 60 percent of employees rate their organization as being weak at execution. Effectively addressing these and other execution issues requires a dedicated role.

This role was defined in a Harvard Business Review article and relates to your “people plan” of having roles aligned with strategy. The responsibilities and description include:

  • Formalizing and leading strategic planning
  • Supporting other leaders through accountability, communication and motivation

  • Being a horizontal conduit to forge relationships and synergies

  • Developing metrics for strategic initiatives

  • Optimizing top-line and bottom-line results

This individual should be experienced in multiple industries, knowledgeable in various functional areas, a doer and a thinker, an influencer, and excel at communications and project management.

The article further explains why this should not be part of the COO, CFO or CEOs’ roles. Adding a leadership role may appear to be additional overhead; however, it is the epitome of accomplishing “excellence in strategy and execution.” It requires proactive, innovative thinking and the realization the role’s ROI is easy to quantify.

These are troubled economic times. Is your organization looking to merely “get by” or beat the competition through relentless execution?

Make execution a core competency to achieve the essential growth desired. If you’re not convinced, email me for the article details. If execution is essential for growth and survival, adding a role dedicated to it should also be a priority – and an easy decision for sustained results.



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