Focus: How to Plan Strategy and Improve Execution to Achieve Growth
CEOs say the biggest issue confronting their executives is the need for perennial and sustained focus in developing and executing strategy. The challenge is heightened by the competing goals and demands of diverse stakeholders—senior executives, middle managers, frontline employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, board members, and others.
Focus: How to Plan Strategy and Improve Execution to Achieve Growth addresses four questions many CEOs ask:
- What is the state of strategy formulation and execution for companies like mine?
- Why is the strategy process so frustrating and difficult, and how can I simplify it?
- How can senior executives on my team meaningfully improve strategy planning and execution to grow sales and profit?
- How can my company hold the strategy planning process to account?
This book answers each questions using research over a four-year period, including multiple large-scale assessments of more than 6,000 executives in varied industries and 11,000 customers, a systematic meta-analysis of strategy outcomes research over the past 70 years, more than 100 hours of in-depth interviews and discussions with senior executives and CEOs, and a series of workshops with board members and executives.
Readers of Focus: How to Plan Strategy and Improve Execution to Achieve Growth will gain a deep understanding of the three strategy planning approaches used by most companies. They will learn the seven inhibitors impeding strategy planning effectiveness. And they will learn the seven research-based strategy enablers necessary to diffuse the inhibitors.
For example, executives will read about replacing salience-based decision making with a scientifically developed strategy map weighting each component based on its importance for critical company outcomes. Using the “give-get” of each strategy map linkage, readers will learn to set aside the ego, personal biases, and gut feelings that consistently upend their strategy plan.
Focus: How to Plan Strategy and Improve Execution to Achieve Growth shares the story of Exterior Inc., a mid-market, premium-price manufacturer of roofing tiles for custom-home builders. Exterior’s CEO, working diligently with his senior executives, transforms the company’s strategy process and goals and achieves financial success. And along the way, the company’s story illustrates the difficulties of strategy planning, common CEO frustrations, and potential strategy inhibitors and enablers.
To enhance strategy formulation, companies need not make their executives smarter or better. By identifying strategy inhibitors and replacing them with facilitators, firms can allow ordinary CEOs and executives to achieve extraordinary results.
We invite you to read Focus: How to Plan Strategy and Improve Execution to Achieve Growth and embark on your journey to transforming your organization’s strategy process. Start by taking the quiz from Chapter 1 of the book to calculate your strategy-planning quotient, a measure of your current skills. After reading the rest of the book, we’re confident you will improve your quotient.