Organizations that have narrowed the strategy-execution gap focus on the effective execution of those critical projects and initiatives that bring strategy to life. Specifically, they follow a set of 10 ‘gap-narrowing’ principles as shown below.
As you review the list consider:
The 10 ‘gap narrowing’ principles:
The execution of strategy is the effective management of key projects and initiatives. Whether a strategy is succeeding or struggling depends on their performance.
Managing strategic initiatives like critical projects typically means more rigour and discipline. But, Critical Projects require the levels of leadership and innovation typically associated with strategic initiatives.
Balancing confidence & ambition is not easy, especially for complex initiatives. Too much confidence can be as dangerous as too little. Also, there could be too much or too little ambition.
Bad things happen when complex ambitious projects are treated as routine. They demand speed, agility, collaboration & innovation – in short they require new ways of working
Caught up in the day to day busyness of a project it is easy to lose sight of changing business needs. Preventing this ‘Project Myopia’ requires strategic conversations & agile execution.
To tackle the twin dangers of hidden complexity and misplaced confidence leaders must engage complexity and embrace uncertainty.
Today’s complex projects require tapping into the discretionary effort and untapped potential of those executives and teams who are charged with ‘making it happen’.
Traditional project planning, project reviews and Gantt charts can be part of the problem, rather than the solution. Plans are as important as ever, but must be continuously reviewed and adjusted.
Many of the problems that arise during the life of a project or initiative can be traced back to the initial stages. Moreover, it is all too easy to arrive at the finish line only to find that it has moved and that stakeholders are waiting somewhere else.
Many project setbacks could have been prevented, if only somebody had spoken up and was heard. Balancing psychological safety and respectful challenge within project teams is key.