Sustaining Excellence in Strategic Execution: Learning by Doing

Dr. Jac Fitz-enz
Posted: 12/01/2008
Effective strategic execution is the number one priority on the minds of over 200 CEOs worldwide, according to The Conference Board. Excellence and consistency in execution leapt nine and six points respectively from July/August to October.

Add to this demand that surveys show managers spend one-third of their time paper pushing, and only about one-quarter of them receive the training they need to truly manage. It is no wonder that things don’t get done or get done wrong.

The market is flooded with "magic cure" management programs. But does it seem reasonable that in two or three days, or even a week, managers should master the highly complex set of organizational, technical and human demands? Peter Drucker, the greatest management authority of the 20th century, stated that playing team games or building rafts in the woods is not transferable to managing a business function.

Effective strategic execution of management is sub-optimized by three factors:
  • There is no future-focused, strategic model. In most companies, production, finance, marketing, IT and HR do not have an integrated model from which to design strategies, carry out operating initiatives and drive competitive advantage.
  • Pressure to perform concentrates on daily operations. Little time or attention is reserved for strategic deliberations leaving many companies continually behind the curve in management strategies.
  • Processes are managed for lowest possible cost rather than highest possible value.
The lack of a strategic, unifying, practical model limits internal efficiency and greatly inhibits the ability to positively affect customers, employees and organizations. Alignment breaks down, performance is not sustainable and confusion and frustration eat away at productivity. So what can you do to improve management knowledge, skill and execution today while building sustainable, long-term performance?

Learn Effective Strategic Management by Doing

In early 2007, 20 companies, vendors and associations joined together to develop an integrated, predictive management and operating system.1 This is the first holistic approach to managing human capital:
  • the only active asset you have,
  • the one that leverages all others,
  • the one that executes the strategy.
Rather than trying to teach planning, organization, innovation and performance management as discrete activities, the predictive management system bundles all the essentials of management into one system learned and delivered by doing it.

Learning How to Manage Through Strategic Execution

Managers learn execution by hands-on designing their strategic capability plan, turning processes from expensive activities into value-generating assets, integrating delivery of products and services and measuring leading indicators of success.

The method uses actual company data, not simulations, exercises or cases that seldom apply to build a management system for the organization. Lecture is replaced with specific, practical work. Each of the phases of predictive management is laid out in electronic worksheets, templates and time charts. These documents cascade from the corporate to the departmental level aligning and linking the organization from top to bottom. A three-point measurement and reporting system blends strategic metrics with lagging indicators and leading predictors. Rather than a training exercise, the end product is an actionable business model and operating system.

Who Teaches Hands-on Management

System development is facilitated by senior executives who have held presidential and vice presidential positions in commercial businesses. The "learners" are the company executives from C-level to department heads who work on specific strategic and operational issues to build a consistent, executable, future-oriented management system.

What Management Looks Like

The system is based on a strategic scan of external and internal factors that affect the organization’s human, structural and relational challenges.

This leads to risk assessment linked to capability planning. Rather than an annual gap analysis the predictive management approach is on-demand, continually updated with current market shifts and a plan for the future.

An advanced succession planning program is carried out in a manner that affects revenue growth.

Process efficiency is statistically analyzed to increase yields. Charts visually synchronize service delivery reducing redundancy and confusion.

A comprehensive, future-focused measurement and reporting system keeps top management ahead of the curve.

In the end, companies obtain near-term gains while maintaining a long-term focus.

For more information and a white paper on predictive management contact Human Capital Source through source@netgate.net or call 408-223-7750.

1Participants included Accenture, American Management Association, Blue Shield, Ceridian, Fidelity, Monster, SuccessFactors and Target, among others.
Dr. Jac Fitz-enz
Posted: 12/01/2008

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