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A framework to execute strategy better | London Business School


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Rebecca Homkes explains a new strategy to execute strategy more effectively for your organisation.

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A framework to execute strategy better | London Business School

  1. 1. 1 Rebecca Homkes suggests a framework to help execute strategy effectively within your organisation. A framework to execute strategy better
  2. 2. A strategy framework If you want to drive successful execution, where do you begin? It helps to build a holistic understanding of the key drivers of execution and how these fit together. How it fits together A strategy framework 2
  3. 3. 3 A strategy framework While most organisations have a top executive team, distributed leaders, and a strategy, the problem is that these three are often disconncted from each other. Shared context is missing: the common understanding of what and why it matters, how the pieces fit together, and what is and is not working. It ties together leaders with strategy and helps them align actions, coordinate activities, and adapt, as circumstances change. Shared context Top team Distributed leaders Strategy Shared context
  4. 4. 4 A strategy framework Leaders to drive execution Key to execution is making and delivering on performance commitments. Processes, formal and informal, should be established to better manage thse commitments up and down the organisation, across units and divisions, and outside the company. These processes must also help renegotiate commitments when circumstances change.
  5. 5. 5 A strategy framework Allocation of resources The most critical resources an organisation has – cash, people, and senior managerial time – must be allocated and assigned to the areas where they matter the most.
  6. 6. 6 A strategy framework Culture that supports execution For effective execution, the challenge is to establish a culture of execution, or the bundle of values and behaviours that supports execution over the long run.
  7. 7. 7 A strategy framework Understand your strategy and top priorities Most people don’t know what their organisation’s strategy is, and this really matters for execution. When asked to list the top priorities of their organisation, on average, fewer than 60 per cent of distributed leaders could converge on even one top priority. Companies must strive to simplify their strategy for better understanding. % of leaders agree on top priorities60Fewer than
  8. 8. A strategy framework The solution is not to increase communication What we need is a set of discussions that build an understanding of what we are going to do, and what we are not going to do, and provide distributed leaders with the criteria they need to make the critical choices they face in executing in their markets. 8
  9. 9. 9 A strategy framework Do the right things Execution is not about doing everything right; it’s about doing the right things. Organisations struggle to allocate resources to activities that matter most. Execution is about focusing time, energy, and resources on the few things which will do the most to create value.
  10. 10. You need good data to execute Managers can trust their gut instincts too much... But in complex, ambiguous, and fast changing environments, this can be a trap. A strategy framework 10
  11. 11. 11 A strategy framework Effective execution is an enduring challenge Execution is hard because it means facing and resolving the tension between apparently conflicting needs. The trade-offs are live, real, and tough to make. Mastering it is rare. But the rewards are great.
  12. 12. Rebecca Homkes is a Teaching Fellow at London Business School. The research is also discussed in the Harvard Business Review article ‘Why strategy execution derails and what to do about it’, with her colleague Don Sull, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The full blog post was published on London Business School Review online. Visit the website: