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Five Acts that help Leaders bring Strategies to Life

Five Acts that help Leaders bring Strategies to Life

It does my heart good to read in Forbes magazine a way to close the gap between strategy and execution is the way we help owners and executives of mid-size companies expand their market footprint since 2009 - with a team of Sherpas that do our clients' heavy lifting, both "designing the railroad at night and laying down the tracks during the day" - or "identifying growth channels or categories and expanding them from zero to something, i.e. to profitable revenue streams" while supporting the client to stay focused on their core business.

You can read the article in its entirety here, or catch the highlights below (quoted directly from Forbes.com).

“In an increasingly complex and fast-changing environment, strategy development and execution must be dynamic, near term, iterative and about a constant cycle of trying, failing and learning fast.” 

One of the enduring truths of business is the difficulty so many organizations have in turning their strategies into action. Of course, many enterprises run into difficulties because they either start with the wrong strategy or find themselves caught with a model that no longer works. But even having a well thought-out and plausible strategy is far from a recipe for success.

First, organizations are often structured in a way that separates responsibility for setting strategy from the responsibility for its implementation. The former is the responsibility of the center (the office of the CEO or the corporate strategy unit, say), while the latter is the responsibility of the business  in the shape of divisional, functional or geographic heads.

At the same time, the consulting profession has developed in a way where this gap existed among the service providers. The differences have existed primarily between the strategy houses and the management consultants/technology companies. In this situation the former have been the “blue sky” thinkers and the latter those that implement. Finally, strategy development has historically been a linear process, focused on the long term, static and heavily informed by an external (market and competitor) perspective.

However, this gap will close, both within organizations and among professional advisers, who will increasingly build capability to both develop and execute strategy for their clients. “In an increasingly complex and fast-changing environment, strategy development and execution must be dynamic, near term, iterative and about a constant cycle of trying, failing and learning fast,” he adds.

The five acts are:

1. Commit to an identity. Companies become coherent by making choices about who they are. They define and develop a value proposition that distinguishes them from others and they decide on a few capabilities that will enable them to be better at what they do than competitors.

2. Translate the strategic into the everyday. This involves a company creating a template around its most distinctive capabilities. It builds and refines them and then ensures that they can be applied across the enterprise and so deliver on strategic intent.

3. Put your culture to work. Highly coherent companies view their culture as their greatest asset.

4. Cut costs to grow stronger. Companies that are successful in implementing their strategies spend more than their competitors do on the things that are most important to them and as little as possible on everything else.

5. Shape your future. Highly coherent companies find that focusing on what they are best at enables them to develop capabilities that go beyond their original goals. They realize that they are no longer constrained by their environment and can instead control their fate.

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reALIGN is a business and product innovation agency uniquely experienced to create breakthroughs and deliver them to market via Strategic Expansion. We partner with mid-size companies to

Identify opportunities for growth

Take opportunities to market

Increase revenue

Strategic Expansion with reALIGN is faster than organic growth, cheaper than acquisition. It is the lower risk solution to predictable and profitable growth. 

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