Is strategy more important than execution or vice versa?
It is not a question that has a straightforward answer. It depends on many internal and external factors that are specific to the business conditions you find yourself in.
It is unnecessary to address this theoretical question but what is important is to strengthen both strategy and execution so that both are at their best during the year to meet the growing challenges.
In a pandemic world of declining demand in certain industries, rapidly escalating costs and disruptive changes, strategy cannot be separated from execution – it must emerge from execution. You must continually adjust your strategy to adapt it to new realities. But if your organization isn’t set up to be fast, you can easily go with Blockbuster or Borders.
As businesses around the world focus on revising, revising, and redesigning their strategies to deal with new realities, some are forgetting the critical next step: making sure the strategy comes to fruition. So it turns out that billions of dollars are spent on brilliant ideas, but not brilliant results. The best strategy poorly executed will not give you any results.
Strategy development is an elegant activity that engages top management. It is a sophisticated process of collecting and analyzing data, generating information and identifying smart solutions.
Done academically, strict logic in everyday language is the only glue needed to hold ideas together. The executives join the plan.
The strategists, confident in their intellectual prowess, withdraw discreetly. Then the conflicts begin. Execution is a minefield. The clean and elegant logic of strategy gets dirty in the real world.
Cross-functional priorities collide. Speed ââis called into question, deadlines are passed and decisions stagnate. Communication breaks down and the environment of blame sets in. It is never a question of whether these problems will occur; it is a question of when and to what extent.
One camp not two
Strategists and executors are on two camps, and entering one camp is the way to bridge the gap between these two worlds. It is common sense. Unfortunately, this is far from common practice. What usually happens is an awkward transfer between the two. They don’t hire executors early and ask, “How will this actually work?” “
Executors also contribute to the trouble. Often times, they don’t really understand the thinking behind the strategy. They take it at face value and don’t ask hard enough questions. When things fall apart, everyone points a finger to the other side.
Organizations today must constantly adapt to create and maintain a competitive advantage, and marketers must move beyond the traditional role to seek new ways to achieve strategic organizational change.
Execution rather than strategy
The basic step that a business should take to focus more on execution or implementation is to create a culture of execution. How to create such a culture? Let’s look at some basic facts. First, it is a fact that culture affects behavior.
An organizational culture includes values, prescriptions for how to act, treat others, react to performance shortfalls and compete, and these have a profound impact on behavior.
A related fact, however, should also be kept in mind: behavior, over time, affects organizational culture. How, then, do you create a desired culture? By creating behavior and performance programs that become part of the way an organization does business.
By creating and strengthening behavior and performance programs that affect the very essence of how organizations act and compete, Create a culture of execution by developing and reinforcing behaviors that affect culture.
It is important to design, reward and support the right behaviors, those that are essential for the successful operation of the strategy, in order to create and maintain a culture of execution.
Ask yourself why executing or implementing strategy is seen as a lower level task in an organization? Why assume that execution is a quick, punctual decision or action and not a journey? Why don’t we believe that executing strategy is a similar process to developing strategy? Is the organizational structure designed for efficient execution? More importantly, how do you create a culture of execution?
Strategy and execution are both about people. To create a strategy we need analytical and innovative people and to execute it we need strong leaders. Everything else is secondary.
Camp strategists and executors; with strategists responsible for execution and vice versa – this will make the difference for you in 2022.