gies, in turn, need to be broken down to objectives
for teams and groups. Heads of those teams have to
also break down their groups’ goals into tasks that
can be assigned to individuals.
This is an effective way to communicate strategic
alignment with all staff, so that everyone knows
what contribution is expected from him or her to
realize the overall strategy of the company. The performance of each team member is measured based
on her ability to achieve her own tasks.
Ms. Nuseibeh: Every single person within the
organization must understand the organization’s
strategy and embrace it in order to execute on it.
Therefore, I communicate as often as possible in
as many different ways as possible—face-to-face,
informed at all stages
makes them lean and more
flexible when a change in
direction is inevitable.”
—Mohannad Amr, STME, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Who typically executes an organization’s
workshops, meetings, emails, text messages, chat,
social media—because different people have dif-
ferent preferences. Even if you communicate the
same message more than once, people understand
it in their own ways according to where they are
on their journey.
strategy? How can gaps between strategy
and execution be filled?
Ms. Buchanan: Often, the gap between strategy
creation and execution is substantial if there is a
lack of engagement with those impacted and little
or no strategic leadership within the company. To
successfully close the gap and move strategy from
creation to execution requires leadership that is
intentionally focused on aligning individual goals
with strategy and company resources.
Once the strategy is set, priorities are funneled to
the broader organization to execute. Execution of
strategic priorities occurs through a fusion of projects,
company initiatives, operational activities and business
targets via frontline workers and other stakeholders.
Mr. Amr: Once the CEO and other executives
develop a strategy, making it happen is the responsibility of hundreds or thousands of people behind
desks and in the field. They are the muscles that the
company brain needs to move.
Because it is almost always easier said than
done, additional work is needed to overcome the
practical difficulties such as gaps between theory
and execution. Directors and their staff need to
exercise adaptability to bridge the gap between
strategy and practice. Although change doesn’t
happen overnight, the good news is that strategies
are long-term plans, which make them tolerant to
gradual amendments until everyone is moving in
the same direction.