Leadership Factors for Faster Strategy Execution

Leadership Factors for Faster Strategy Execution
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

Why Leaders Need to Create Faster Strategy Execution
We think of strategic speed as the ability of an organization and its leaders to move quickly enough to take advantage of market opportunities and offset competitive threats. Most business leaders consider the speed of successful strategy execution to be paramount to sustainable growth. But our organizational alignment research found that the majority of companies do not demonstrate enough strategic speed to meet their own growth goals.

If you are moving in a different or uncharted strategic direction (e.g., merging with another company, opening up a new sales territory, or launching a new product), the faster you can execute the strategy, the more likely you are to stay ahead of the competition. But strategic speed alone is not wise. To succeed, you need an implementable strategy that everyone buys into and an agreed-upon way to execute it.  Then you need to ensure that people have an open mindset for change and continuous learning.

The Factors that Make the Difference to Create Faster Strategy Execution
When we look at what distinguishes our clients that are able to act faster and smarter than others, we were not surprised that leadership decision making is a critical ingredient for success.  We were also not surprised to find that most companies are pretty good at seeing opportunities and deciding to try to take advantage of them. What did surprise us was the difference in how fast some companies move from leadership strategy discussions to collective strategic actions in a way that people agree with.

Here are the overarching factors that make the difference between companies that can move quickly from strategy to action and those who get stuck planning, debating, and discussing.

  1. High Levels of Strategic Clarity and Involvement
    Strategically fast companies invest more time and effort upfront to ensure that (1) The strategy is clear enough, believable enough, and implementable enough in the eyes of those responsible for executing it, and (2) Key stakeholders are actively involved in the strategy design and planning processes from the beginning.  They know that going slow at the beginning will create strategic speed at the end.

    Do you have enough strategic clarity and involvement to move from strategy to action without having to backtrack and politic at work?
  2. Focused, Open, and Engaging Leaders
    Company leaders in “faster” companies are ruthlessly focused on where they are headed, why getting there matters, and how to best make it happen with and through others. Yet as focused as they remain on the end game, fast strategic leaders create a culture of employee feedback and psychological team safety

    They are open to trying out better ways to get things done. They create a work environment that enables and engages teams and individuals to make good decisions, raise tough issues, collaborate across functions, share information, experiment, track progress, be accountable, and act cohesively to move the business strategy forward.

    Masters at communicating the company’s purpose and plans to all levels of their workforce in a way that increases employee engagement, fast leaders stay actively involved in strategy execution by removing obstacles, making tough decisions, and motivating the troops.

    Do your leaders have the confidence and competence to set their strategy execution teams up for success?
  3. A Disciplined and Agreed-Upon Strategy Execution Process
    Starting at the top, fast companies follow a disciplined and agreed-upon strategy execution process which actively and transparently involves, engages, and holds accountable the entire organization.  The project management of strategic initiatives is taken seriously.  Goals, success metrics, roles, responsibilities, scope, and interdependencies for each stream of work is known and committed to.

    Do your leaders truly lead the strategy execution process while empowering others to be decisive?

The Bottom Line
Speedy and successful strategy execution requires leadership team alignment and translates into a high performing business. How does your organization match up with the factors that increase strategic speed?

If you liked Leadership Factors for Faster Strategy Execution, download 7 Proven Ways to Stress Test Your Strategy Now

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance