The New Science of Strategy Execution: How Established Firms Become Fast, Sleek Wealth Creators

The New Science of Strategy Execution: How Established Firms Become Fast, Sleek Wealth Creators

The New Science of Strategy Execution: How Established Firms Become Fast, Sleek Wealth Creators

The New Science of Strategy Execution: How Established Firms Become Fast, Sleek Wealth Creators

Excerpt

In the opening pages of his great book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck wrote, “Life is difficult.” Of course, Peck was writing about our lives as individuals, but I believe the generalization can also be applied to the life of a business. One of the most difficult tasks in most organizations is to execute strategies well. So, I have presumed to paraphrase Peck’s words to express the idea that sets the tone for this book: Strategy execution is difficult.

The pages that follow contain a combination of approach, methodology, framework, tools, and rules of thumb that address the issues and processes related to strategy execution. The book is my life’s work. It is based on many years of consulting and academic work in the field of strategy. And I must recognize here that without Marilyn Norris’s collegial input and assistance in editing the text, the book would never have been completed.

This is not a book for light, easy reading. It takes a rigorous approach to what I think is the biggest potential source of value creation in this century—strategy execution. And although much of my experience has been in the world of the university, this is not an academic book. It is designed to be a field manual and roadmap to help executives improve strategy execution in their firms. Our approach assumes that the reader is familiar with the language and tools of strategy and strategic planning, project management, and basic corporate finance. As these topics are adequately covered elsewhere, we focus on bringing a fresh perspective to current thinking and presenting ideas that are totally new.

The book is written primarily for the Master Builders in all companies. The Master Builder is the executive who blends together an organization’s processes and people to achieve results. My experience in working as a consultant with over 90 firms has shown that the Master Builders are usually the strategically oriented chief financial officers or heads of operating processes and the prime movers, opinion leaders, and cross-functional process teams they lead.

The other senior executives and their direct reports seldom seem to have the primary accountability for world-class strategy execution, as we define it here. Instead, their roles tend to address the accountabilities of the Visionary and the . . .

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