Leading from Strategy to Execution in the Age of Rapid Change

by Holly Pendleton, Director & Kelly Virtue, Sr. Consultant, Talent & Organization Performance

When critical business decisions compile rapidly and compete with current projects, leaders can become less effective at driving alignment and continuity from their original strategic vision.

Below are insights from our Phoenix Executive Roundtable in late 2018 on how to effectively drive a long-term strategic vision to success in a constant stream of change.

Leaders across industries are facing increased pressure to respond to shifting priorities in the midst of moving large, strategic initiatives forward. Below are three tactics to keep your initiative on-track through execution.

Tactic #1: The Power of Why

It’s no secret that creating a shared vision drives momentum for your strategic initiatives. However, as communication cascades through different levels of an organization, strategic terms are often translated into project terms, like “on-time and in-budget.” Leaders must build a shared purpose that transcends, or even better is customized to, the various levels and teams responsible for executing the vision.

Tactic #2: Decision-Making Rubrics

Executives with structured decision-making rubrics are empowered to make better decisions. To truly achieve an agile work environment, leaders must align around a decision-making framework that provides guideposts for the organizational vision and guardrails to minimize risk.

Tactic #3: Demonstrating the Value Case

When facing the currents of change, take time to discern the leading and lagging indicators of your strategy. Focusing on leading indicators reveals problems as they arise, making it possible to adjust course and positively affect future outcomes.

Bonus Best Practice: The Pre-Mortem

Engage teams early in a project, and invite them to fast-forward to if the planned program failed. Identify all the things that could contribute to the failure, then build plans to mitigate those risks.

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