Strategy Execution isn’t a sport you play alone. It’s a team sport, involving both business and support functions across divisions, departments and teams. Each team member has a specific role to play, and it takes every member’s contribution − collectively − to win.
Here’s an example of a typical problem:
“We had a clear strategy to penetrate the French market. We analysed the competition and developed a radical change in our distribution approach. We were convinced that this innovative idea would give us the necessary competitive advantage to position us in this new market. When we wanted to start executing our fantastic plan, we went to HR to ask for a large recruitment campaign.
You’re three months too late, answered the HR director. Most of the jobs you require are not easy to fill in that part of France. It is also crucial to take some legal steps first to avoid problems in the future. This will take at least 3 extra weeks if you want to do it properly. If we are lucky, we could get some interim labour, but that will be much more expensive than the figures you showed me in your business plan.”
Business unit manager, logistics division, retail industry
The relationship between business and support departments should go beyond the annual budget and monthly operational meetings. To execute a great strategy and safeguard the future of the company, everyone needs to work together, each in his/her respective role.
So, when you want to turn that great strategy into performance, remember to create horizontal alignment in your organisation, no matter what level you are on. That’s the third Strategy Execution law.