Transformation, Change & Strategy Execution
Step-change (strategic innovation to disrupt) and incremental change (tactical innovation, continuous improvement) are the norm, yet it doesn’t become easier for many organizations. If change isn’t well led with informed, engaged people, and activity aligned to meaningful strategy and clear priorities; cynicism and disengagement results, and leaders can feel out of control as anxiety spreads. This may be reflected in micromanagement and over-control further eroding mutual trust and confidence, and agility.
In some organizations, change is viewed as a move from one static state to another. Instead of thinking of change like this, we propose that organizations develop a leadership culture and strategy execution system that enables them to operate successfully in a dynamic VUCA environment. This means having an adaptable, dynamic and scalable approach to the development, execution and evolution of strategy.
All change and transformation requires a strategy to be implemented (which is likely to include enabling projects). All strategy to improve performance and capability involves change and innovation. Therefore the foundations of strategy execution capability are to all intents and purposes the same as those of change capability and project leadership.
Multiple ‘competing’ change, strategy and project management methodologies —with similar but different language and practices and limiting caveats on use— cause confusion, duplication of effort and have ‘process gaps’. Multiple methodologies and overlapping ‘tools’ add to the L&D requirement, cost and cognitive burden on leaders; and slow development of confidence, competence and adaptability in their use.
We recognise that a problem is any situation in which there is a requirement for a decision on the course of action to pursue —these ‘problems’ may be called projects to deliver, changes to implement, objectives to achieve, tasks to complete and so on. So all ‘work’ consists of a series of concurrent, consecutive and layered problems to solve and decisions to make at different levels of complexity. Well-designed problem-solving and decision-making practice, and follow-on planning and communication practices, are the key to unlocking digital leadership and dynamic strategy execution capability, and to building competitive advantage.