Introducing the 8 – a sexy strategy execution framework
“Strategy execution should be a happy marriage between organisational and individual performance.”
Strategy Execution is a complex process. In fact, it’s a mix of several processes – and the ideal process picture is different for each organisation. But even with a different mix, each best-in-class performance management process should include some basic building blocks. Luckily, many of them are readily available within most organisations. They include:
- Tried and tested approaches for reviewing a strategy.
- Strategy cascade tools, the Balanced Scorecard being the best-known.
- Techniques to structure, execute and monitor strategic projects.
- A proven approach to set, monitor and evaluate individual objectives.
What is lacking however, is a simple framework to integrate and align all of these different building blocks. And that’s where the 8 comes in. It combines the most important building blocks into a coherent image. The 8 doesn’t cover all of the ins and outs of the Strategy Execution process. It’s not supposed to. It’s not a rigid step-by-step instruction. But it does provide a necessary, simple framework for Strategy Execution.
COMPLEX OR NOT?
You can make your execution framework more complex if you prefer. For the organisational cycle in particular, there are some sophisticated models around. Kaplan and Norton describe one in their latest book The Execution Premium. You can find a second one that also includes organisational structure impacts in Making Strategy Work by Hrebiniak. While I like the insights that these conceptual models provide, their complexity makes them unsuitable as a day-to-day Strategy Execution framework for the whole organisation.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
I believe a Strategy Execution framework for all managers and staff needs to be simple, highly recognisable and sexy. (Think like a marketer and make it stick). I’m aware that you will lose some of the nuances, but that’s a choice you need to make. Besides, it doesn’t mean you have to over-simplify your Strategy Execution process. You can use the 8 for communication purposes and keep a more detailed version to be known only by those who have to organise the process. I will soon write more about the 8.