Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Secrets to Successful STRATEGY EXECUTION

By: Neilson, Gary L., Martin, Karla L., Powers, Elizabeth,
Harvard Business Review, June 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 6

Some interesting points:

Execution is the result of thousands of decisions made every day by employees acting according to the information they have and their own self-interest.

we've identified four fundamental building blocks executives can use to influence those actions -- clarifying decision rights, designing information flows, aligning motivators, and making changes to structure. (For simplicity's sake we refer to them as decision rights, information, motivators, and structure.)

What Matters Most to Strategy Execution
When a company fails to execute its strategy, the first thing managers often think to do is restructure. But our research shows that the fundamentals of good execution start with clarifying decision rights and making sure information flows where it needs to go. If you get those right, the correct structure and motivators often become obvious.

What particular ways of restructuring, motivating, improving information flows, and clarifying decision rights mattered the most? 17 ways or traits are identified in the article and the order of their relative influence is given. (See the exhibit "The 17 Fundamental Traits of Organizational Effectiveness.)

Gary L. Neilson (neilson_gary@bah.com) is a senior vice president in the Chicago office of Booz & Company, a management-consulting firm. He is a coauthor of "The Passive-Aggressive Organization" (HBR, October 2005). Karla L. Martin (martin_karla@bah.com) is a principal in the firm's San Francisco office. Elizabeth Powers (powers_elizabeth@bah.com) is a principal in the New York office.

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