Dec
26

Strategy + Execution: Where, What, How, How You Know

By

I was recently reading a blog article titled “Stop with the “vision” stuff.”  While the article itself was thought provoking, it was the comment string that I found fascinating.  There were so many examples of disconnects between Strategy and Execution.  The value of Strategy setting, Mission statements, Visioning, and business concepts such as Manage by Objectives (MBO) has been lost in so many ways.

Any tool or approach can be good or bad, it’s all about how it is executed.  In one of the comments the individual was heavily bashing MBO.  MBO is not a bad concept –  it’s a very valid one.  The problem (as can be observed by the story shared by binab&madbadbearbox in the comment thread) is that the Objectives are not always consistent.  Add to that, Individual Objectives are not necessarily the same as Business Objectives.  The story binab&madbadbearbox shared was an example of the individual in sales driving towards their own personal Objectives, which were not necessarily aligned with the Business Objectives.

You need to know where you are going, what you want to accomplish, how you plan on getting there (yes, having that plan AND adapting it), and then knowing how to measure yourself against that plan.  Too often Mission, Vision, and Strategy statements are that, statements.  They are created and then set aside.  They cease to have any meaning or value.  They can have value and should have value.  They need to be integrated into the business, used as guideposts.

 I net it down to a few simple, yet important concepts:

  • Where are you going? – this is your Vision
  • What you want to accomplish/Who you want to be – this is your Mission
  • How do you plan to get there (high level) – this is your Strategy
  • Actions you will take to get there – these are your Tactics

In setting up Synergetic Solutions, I also spent time creating Guiding Principles.  These are concepts of regarding how I and my business operate.  While the list may not be that long, I spent a considerable amount of time really thinking about these and what they meant for both myself and the business.  The value isn’t simply that they exist, but what they mean and how they affect business decision-making on an on-going basis.

I make decisions on a regular basis based on alignment to principles, strategy, and vision.  They are all living, breathing concepts, not something written once and ignored.

It’s both Strategy + Execution. Knowing where you want to go, what it will take, and taking actions to get there.

Comments

  1. Marta Steele says:

    Ugh. If I could count the times I’ve watched people jump to execution before strategy …. I think people get scared off when they hear “vision” “MBO” etc and gloss over it. Convincing leaders to spend X amount of time defining these concepts is 75% of the battle.
    Your definitions of vision/mission/strategy/tactics would are simple and clear – palatable to the everyday hair-on-fire business leader.

  2. Faith Fuqua-Purvis says:

    Thanks Marta. I’m laughing on the visual of “hair-on-fire business leader,” but it is so true. Makes me wonder if people have begun to believe that as long as they are shouting (long and loud) that things are actually being done.

    If you haven’t seen them, you might be interested in:
    http://synergetic-solutions.com/what-is-change-management-my-elevator-speech/
    http://synergetic-solutions.com/breaking-down-my-elevator-speech/

    I netted CM down to a meaning filled 15 word sentence.

  3. Samira says:

    I found this great information on this very nice blog.

Guiding Principles

- Think Holistically
- Seek the Root Causes
- Respect the Individual
- Demonstrate Accountability
- Collaborate with Clients
- Work with Integrity, Always
- Relate to the Business Strategy
- Ensure Alignment
- Demonstrate Responsibility
- Transfer Skills

Thoughts and Quotes