Strategy-Driven Execution…?

I read a Discussion on LinkedIn recently where the question was posed: what do you think about the effectiveness of Strategy-Driven Execution?

When the dizziness passed and I got back up into my chair, my primal response was:  hold on… is there anything ELSE that should conceivably be driving business process Execution, except Strategy?

And, if you have an answer for that other than ‘no’, then all my mind can visualize is the guy they found in a cave still fighting WWII, guarding his post, forty-plus years after his country surrendered.  Either the Strategy is ill-advised, or the execution.  Pity the soldier.  Good people, doing the wrong things.  Sometimes you’ve got to come out of the cave and reassess the conditions… why IS it that no one has been answering your radio calls, or, shooting at you?

Any execution, or performance of work tasks to achieve a specific outcome, that is not specifically based on a defined Strategy of an enterprise, is a work task that is counter-productive, if not outright destructive, to the enterprise’s Mission and Goals.

If your business process execution is NOT Strategy-based, please stop it.  Ask questions.  Reassess the conditions.  Talk to your boss, or your boss’ boss.  What you’re doing is bad for you.  It’s bad for your organization (if it even matters any more), it’s bad for your co-workers and shareholders, and probably your customers, too.  And, eventually someone will discover it, and terminate the whole endeavor; execute the execution, so to speak.

Mission drives priorities.  Priorities drive strategy.  Strategies drive execution.  Execution is enabled by business process.  Business process is executed by people.  And, technology enables people and process.

Now, if it’s the effectiveness of the actual Execution we’re wondering about here, THAT’s where active Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) comes in.  Execution can’t work if it’s unmanaged, even IF the Strategy is sound.

But, if the Strategy itself is bad to begin with, you have another even more important challenge; why was that soldier even IN that cave to begin with?

More on that, next time.

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