PDF The Economist: Successful Strategy Execution: How to keep your business goals on target

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As we suggest in the next figure, rather than taking this system as a rigid sequence of steps that must be followed in order, it is better to envision it as a closed loop where each task is continually running and supporting the rest of activities, actively incorporating new learning and adjusting to changes in the environment that could affect the way you do things. Your strategic management system must be a fluid process that continually challenges the fundamentals of your strategy and the system itself.

This is how you add resiliency and agility to your strategy, and how your organization becomes a nimble living organism that can survive adverse environments. No strategy survives contact with the enemy, the old saying goes, warning strategists about the risks of unexpected events that may, and most likely will, occur.

But embracing uncertainty is part of the game of business, and the key is to develop fluid strategies that can morph as you execute and learn. If you are presented with a similar request to propose a new strategy for your organization , we provide you a framework to answer such a question.

To start, realize that your job as a CEO can be broken down into two basic things you must do to be successful: protect operating businesses, and maximize earnings over the foreseeable future. As we explained in the business strategy principles, the only way a business can find such a market position is by doing things differently from its competitors. Unless you offer products that are both unique AND valuable to target customers, or that are to some extent difficult to copy, your profitability will be vulnerable to the attack of companies with similar capabilities and well-funded copycats.

With your core businesses under control, the next step is exploring possible ways to maximize growth , and to do that, we identified seven different ways that work for any business:. Your job as a company executive is to explore how this list relates to your organization and make educated decisions about which paths you believe would deliver the most impact to your bottom line. A recurrent pattern we found throughout our research , was the relentless effort of top organizations to only hire, promote and retain top performers, or A-players as these extraordinary people are usually called.

He repeatedly said that if you hired B-players, they would hire C-players and that it would start a performance decline because after a while the vicious cycle would continue until the company has become a B- or a C-class company. A-players on the other hand, Jobs said, only like to work with other A-players, so by hiring them you ensure that only the best people work in the company because these A-players will self-police the company and only hire and retain similar top performers.

This trickle-down effect causes bozo explosions in companies. Shaw who came to work for Bezos and wanted to move from part-time to full-time during the early days of the company. Until then, Lovejoy, who had been with the company since its beginning working as a recruiter, had only been working thirty hours a week and enjoyed the rest of his time playing frisbee, kayaking and hanging out with his girlfriend.

Bezos was, from the earliest days of Amazon, committed to only bringing in the best people he could hire, and for years interviewed new prospects himself. We can find this relentless, almost obsessive fight for top talent to be a pattern that repeats itself in top-performing organizations from GE, Capital Cities and Google to Netflix, McKinsey and Comcast. Over and over again, recruiting and retaining only the best people, providing them with unique tools and knowledge, running the company on a healthy, winning culture and the existence of a performance system that ensures teams are always at the top of their game seems to be a formula for success.

Weaker incumbents will be forced to fight back with all they have just to keep their doors open.

Marketing communications planning using the PASTA model

They must streamline their business models, target different markets or face death by irrelevancy. This is happening right now in many industries and it will keep happening more frequently as cheaper money is poured into every market and aggressive players look for new markets in their search for world domination. Only those with great people will be able to fight back, shift directions and stay afloat.

The math behind it is simple: with a positive culture you will get more for every effort your people put in, while a bad culture will drag efforts downs and even bring them to a halt. Rather than just being a common set of beliefs, behaviors and attitudes that prevail in an organization as many define it, multidexter leaders use corporate culture as a weapon to achieve corporate goals.

Instead of taking it as it is, these leaders shape the culture of their organizations to achieve their goals, changing beliefs, behaviors and attitudes along the way. In our framework remember you can now download the book for free here , we also introduce eight components that you can combine to create a successful corporate culture. This is one of the hardest jobs that you will face as a leader, but that hard work is also what makes it a great differentiator. A company will always end up having a culture, whether intentionally or not. So instead of letting it emerge by itself, embrace it and shape it in a way that works for you so that rather than getting in the way of strategy execution it helps make that execution happen.

Just like economies of scale and learning curves, a corporate culture takes time to get right but over time it can become a true competitive advantage. There are many great business strategy books to choose from, including our all-time favorites The Innovator Solution by Clayton Christensen and Understanding Michael Porter by Joan Magretta, or even The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning by Henry Mintzberg,but why go through all these different frameworks and ideas, some of them outdated, when you can get a unified map to strategy that incorporates all of them in a single framework?

Strategy for Executives, which is now free to download here , is based on extensive multi-year research, where we broke down the most popular strategy frameworks of the last 40 years, extracted their core ideas, and tied them all together into a single didactical and self-contained body of knowledge. The research was led by Sun Wu, a seasoned Fortune executive with more than 15 years of real-life experience, complemented by a thorough revision of more than books and research papers, and over hours of videos, interviews and formal training.

Every concept in the book is explained from scratch so that, plain and simple, this is the only strategy book that you and your teams will ever need. Free Press. Kindle Edition. Stone, Brad. Little, Brown and Company. Bhardwaj, Prachi. Amazon poached 30 executives from Microsoft in the past 3 years — 6 times as many executives as the next lead poacher, Google. Business Insider. July McCarthy, Kyle.

Access the Successful SEO guide. Whether it be a strategic plan, a business plan, a marketing plan or a communications strategy, their design requires systematic, step-by-step development that takes into account elements of all the other types of plans.


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But, in my opinion, such methodologies can be insufficient for answering the more practical questions above. This article describes the PASTA method, a roadmap for solving operational marketing and communication issues. The various types of plans within the marketing and communications disciplines are structured hierarchically:. The business plan sets out the objectives for the entire organization according to a specific time frame. Those objectives are quantitative as well as qualitative.

A few examples: return on investment, competitive targets, efficiency targets and corporate social responsibility goals. In order to bring the business plan to fruition, multiple execution plans are described for sectors such as finance, human resources, marketing and innovation. The marketing plan contains marketing goals and the strategy to achieve these goals, as in gaining market share, number of products and distribution channels.

The first two plans in the hierarchy above are strategically oriented, while the last two have an operational perspective. The strategic planning captures the implementation of overall direction. An operationally oriented planning strategy makes it distinct. An operational plan is a normative plan to achieve an intended result.

A strategic plan has a much broader horizon than the other ones. A business plan lasts for perhaps 10 years, a marketing plan for three years and a communications plan is only for the coming year. This method was originally developed to support the process for realizing a marketing plan and is mainly used as a framework for the creation of online planning Figure 2. In this methodology, the objectives are divided into broad strategic goals that incorporate specific KPIs Key Performance Indicators. In daily practice, however, the KPIs can only be determined when the target audience, the proposition and positioning choices are known.

Also essential is determining what tools and marketing techniques will be used. Topics in a strategic plan are general. Performing an analysis , determining objectives , targeting a group , determining direction by means of a strategy , setting a budget , determining the implementation and the manner of establishing control.

At an operational level are the topics: analysis, strategy, concept, implementation, and evaluation. There are basic similarities in terminology between strategic and operationally oriented plans.

However, the level of abstraction determines the content and meaning of the term. In a communications plan, the term "strategy" is in the concept phase.

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Project Management | Why Program Management is an Essential Part of Strategy Execution

The explanation of the term strategy here is whether we are going to employ humor or product comparison in our communication tool. The term strategy in a marketing plan means, for example, the choice to position new products in existing markets. The development of a marketing plan can be done on the basis of a strategic method, such as P. There are, however, two disadvantages:. Firstly, the determination of the problem must be considered a given and not a part of the methodology. It is precisely the problem framing the direction and the size of the solution.

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The second disadvantage of existing methods is that it can be used in strategic planning but not in an operational plan is setting goals or objectives. The logical process is interrupted by first setting goals and then the strategy. On a strategic level, this is obvious.

For example, a company's objective is to grow in market share, but it must make a strategic choice: Innovate? Buy another company? Or just obtain more market share? In an operational plan, objectives are part of the strategy. First, there must be a clear definition of the problem: Which goal does the client want to achieve? What issues are involved? What strategic objectives underlie the development of a plan? There must be knowledge about the organization, product or service.

But also knowledge about what the client is really asking for. When an organization indicates low brand recognition, it is justified in asking more questions to seek out the reason why. The second step is to analyze the market and the environment in which the organization or the product exists. To create an operational plan, there must first be an examination of the organization, consumers or customers, the product supply and competition.

What is Strategic Management?

This consists of both internal and external analysis. For internal analysis it is important to ask questions such as:. The external analyses are more extensive. Most of the information will come from desk research or existing and available information within the organization. Questions to be answered are:.

The term "strategy" is comprehensive and confusing.


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It should be regarded within the context of an operational plan. The term "concept" can also be used in place of strategy. The development of a strategy or concept within an operational plan consists of four modules, which are interdependent.