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From Strategy to Execution

    From Strategy to Execution

    Strategy drives execution.

    The fathers of modern management and lean manufacturing gave us a framework for defining vision, and driving that vision down to strategy.

    Yet the real genius in the framework is that this same extraction can allow us to set goals, define tactics, and plan resources.

    If a vision statement is simply a build and acquire statement – defining the innovation to build and market to acquire – and strategy further delves into what needs to be built and acquired for both this innovation and market growth to take place, then continuing the process allows us to really dig into the execution necessary to make these plans happen.

    Build-Acquire Pyramid

    Five layers. Five strategic tools.

    Vision. What are we innovating and what market(s) are we acquiring?

    Strategy. Our innovation requires building and acquiring things, as does our market expansion plan.

    Goals. Each build and acquire strategy has it’s own build and acquire goal, giving us clear top-level KPIs.

    Tactics. Each build and acquire goal has it’s own build and acquire tactic, giving us clear supporting KPIs.

    Resources. Each build and acquire tactic has it’s own build and acquire resources, giving us clear path to our cash and people plans.

    Now, let’s take a beat to recognize how complex this actually can become. After all, we are talking about one vision with two components, four core strategies, eight organizational goals, sixteen tactics, and thirty-two resources.

    That’s 62 items to consider. (Plus mission and values.)

    Build-Acquire Pyramid Detail

    Yet they are structured, consistent, and aligned. And actually spelled out.

    Seriously, when’s the last time that’s happened inside your organization?

    A quick note.

    Small companies and startups may not look much past goals, given speed of execution and limited resources. 

    And that is the beauty of being small.

    One important mission, two vision components, four core strategies, eight organizational goals.

    Only 15 items to consider. Developed together, as a team.

    Pretty easy to keep focused.

    Typically the vision comes from the CEO.

    The strategies are developed with lots of input, including the board, but are the CEO’s responsibility.

    The goals are the CEO’s measures of success. Meaning they are also the organization’s measures of success.

    The tactics, or supporting goals, are the team’s measures of success.

    The resources, usually cash and people needs, define how the team plans to meet the goals. They also allow the CEO to work with the board on approvals and allocations.

    Full circle.

    And addresses the five whys… but in reverse.

    Why is this resource necessary? For our tactic. Why? For our goal. Why? For our strategy. Why? For our vision. Why? To meet our organization’s mission.

    It can work the other way as well, by asking how.

    How will we meet our mission? Following our vision. How? Leveraging our strategy. How? By meeting our goals. How? With these tactics. How? Using these resources.

    This is helpful for working with your board, advocating for mission and vision, or applying popular frameworks.

    Take, for example, Scott Galloway’s insights… What might we need to build and acquire to create human-instinct level solutions, rundles, network effects, vertical integration, and a culture of talent?

    And more importantly, how can we execute against that with aligned goals, tactics, and resources?

    Now you have a framework, from the fathers of lean manufacturing and modern management.

    Your turn.

    Now go spark that revolution.