Extracting Great Performance from Great Strategy

Back in 2005, Mankins & Steele wrote a great article for the Harvard Business Review on Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance that outlined seven rules for successful strategy execution that fit nicely within our strategy development and execution framework. Since the article has probably faded from collective memory, here are the seven rules and why you should revisit the article.

  1. Keep it Simple

    Clear goals. Clear actions. Clear boundaries. If an average high school student can’t understand the plan, it’s too complicated.

  2. Challenge Assumptions

    It’s important to ensure that the assumptions underlying the strategic plan represent real market economics and actual organizational performance relative to industry peers and rivals. An organization should continually analyze market profitability, costs, and pricing relative to the competition, for starters.

  3. Speak the Same Language

    Operations, marketing, and finance must agree on a common framework for execution and performance assessment.

  4. Discuss Resource Deployments Early

    Execution requires people, who have to be trained, geared up, and ready to go.

  5. Identify Priorities

    Make sure that strategic priorities are explicit and focussed on.

  6. Continuously Monitor Performance

    Track real-time results against the plan, reseting assumptions and reallocating resources as required.

  7. Develop Execution Ability

    Make selection and development of leaders and trainers a priority.

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