A Winning Strategy Does Not Guarantee Success

You also need to execute.  While effective execution involves many elements, what’s key is your ability to set priorities, engage leaders, and nurture a focused and dedicated company culture.


Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It’s unfortunate, but many still believe a good strategy is all that is needed for success. In far too many organizations business execution is relegated to a secondary role.  A 2013 survey of 587 senior executives found that implementation was seen as strategic in only 17% of their companies. At 56% of the firms, it was considered an operational task.

The result: 50-90% of strategic initiatives fail.

Is your organization ready to make your strategy a reality? Begin by asking the following questions:

  1. Are your priorities clear?

Setting clear priorities — proactively deciding what to do, and when to do it — is the only way to keep your organization on task. When setting priorities consider:

  • Impact – Be selective. Focus your energy on only those initiatives that are likely to deliver the greatest impact.
  • Urgency – Proper sequencing is vital. Identify and attend to urgent tasks first. Supporting tasks can follow.
  • Limitations – It takes time, people and other resources to execute strategic initiatives. Recognize your limitations and don’t proceed without the means necessary to get the job done.
  1. Do you have enough champions?

Proper execution requires catalysts who can drive action and keep efforts focused and moving forward.  Champions capable of providing performance leadership to complex projects possess:

  • Business acumen – Initiative leaders need a clear, comprehensive knowledge of how sales, operations and administrative functions operate in the business.
  • Experience – Initiative champions must have the proven ability to lead peers and drive cross functional cooperation and engagement.
  • Capacity – Even the most talented champion will fail if they lack the bandwidth they will need to effectively lead a strategic initiative while also delivering on their regular responsibilities.
  1. Do you have an execution culture?

Without the requisite authority and support, even an effective leader will fail.

  • Empowerment – An empowered employee has the tools, training, resources, encouragement and motivation needed to perform at the optimum level.
  • Accountability – Leaders must own and be held responsible for delivering the outcomes of the initiatives they champion. This oversight need not be confrontational. The key is to focus on performance — not the individual.
  • Nimbleness – Things seldom go as planned. Organizations must have the ability to adapt and respond appropriately to the unexpected, while simultaneously achieving their goals.

Want to know more?  I invite you to contact me today. Together, we can determine how best to execute your business strategy

Thanks for your consideration.

Ed   425-478-0708. edl@ealopit.com

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E.A. Lopit & Associates
Ed Lopit, Principal
(425) 478-0708