Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management Contact: Robert G. Barnwell CUNY Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business One Bernard Baruch Way, Box B10 New York, NY 10010 Tel. (917) 771-4628 firstname.lastname@example.org [email_address]
Executive Biography ROBERT G. BARNWELL The strategy execution and strategic change management study is being managed and supervised by Robert G. Barnwell. A clinical professor in the MBA program of CUNY Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, Robert is also a regularly invited guest speaker at such universities and business schools as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the Wharton School of Business. In addition to his academic and research experience, Robert has considerable strategy consulting and corporate finance experience working with companies undergoing significant strategic, operational and financial change. Robert is the author of the forthcoming book, A Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way: Driving Rapid and Lasting Strategic Change (Summer 2011.) Robert completed his masters degree in business administration at New York University and received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. To learn more about best practices in strategy execution and strategic change management or to participate in the study, please contact Robert via e-mail at [email_address] or by telephone at (917) 771-4628.
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management MEETING OBJECTIVES <ul><li>Share common challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and share some of the best practices to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> (a) Accelerate strategic change; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> (b) Maximize results; and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(c) Assure that changes “stick.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management ABOUT THE STUDY Curious about why strategy execution programs and strategic change initiatives weren’t more successful, professor Robert Barnwell began to study the existing research on the subjects of strategic change management and strategy execution. What he found was a largely universal and broadly agreed-upon framework that crossed several disciplines, including project management, change management, Management by Objectives/Results, and strategy execution (see Section IV). Assuming that this basic framework isn’t to blame, something else (or some other combination of factors) must be responsible for the disappointing lack of success… To find out, Robert is supervising an ongoing study focused on identifying the most successful strategy execution and strategic change programs currently being employed within large publicly-listed corporations – with a focus on how these initiatives are being managed and implemented.
Fall 2009 Spring 2010 Summer 2010 Fall 2010 Spring 2011 Launch Study Perform comprehensive review of existing literature and research and meet with participating companies to scope study. Field Studies Identify 6-12 leading “best practices” and begin field tests with participating companies. Accelerate Research Expand corporate interviews and surveys ; and secure roles as observer and scholar-in-residence . Perform assessments and reviews as requested. Publish Initial Findings Publish findings (executive briefings, articles and books) following comprehensive dissemination of initial findings to corporate participants.
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management GETTING INVOLVED <ul><li>There are a number of opportunities for companies to increase their involvement in the study, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Serving as a referral source to other participating companies and professionals; </li></ul><ul><li>Participating in field studies to test and refine best practices; </li></ul><ul><li>Hosting observers to critical implementation meetings and/or activities; </li></ul><ul><li>Requesting an assessment/review of an existing strategy execution or strategic change program relative to best practices (for a nominal stipend); </li></ul><ul><li>Hosting professor Barnwell as a Scholar-In-Residence (for a nominal stipend); and, </li></ul><ul><li>Funding of a modest research grant to provide for ongoing research. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Strategy Execution </li></ul><ul><li>& Strategic Change Management: </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire and Discussion Guide </li></ul>Section I
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management LEVEL & DURATION OF RESULTS Level of Impact disagree agree strongly agree Significant Notable/As Expected Limited None Negative Duration of Results Long-lasting (2-years+) Modest (12-24 months) Rapidly Dissipated (less than 12 months) No impact Of the strategic initiatives you’ve been involved in the past 10-years, how would you characterize the level and duration of the typical results?
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management COMMON OBJECTIVES What have been the most common three (3) direct objectives of any strategic change initiatives you’ve led or been involved with over the past 5-years? <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen competitive position/strategic capabilities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase revenues and/or market share </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce costs/expenses </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve liquidity and/or credit profile </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support share price and market capitalization </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate recent mergers or acquisitions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other: ________________________________________ </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>most common not common </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT <ul><ul><li>A clear understanding of the company’s business, financial, human and strategic resources and/or constraints (relative to market and competitors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A balance of financial, operational and strategic metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A balance of short (0-12 months), intermediate (12-36 months), and longer-term goals (36 months+) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A limited number of strategic alternatives/options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identification of key risks and provided for proper risk mitigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consideration of how the plan would be incorporated/cascaded into corporate, divisional and business-line planning and budgeting processes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant Irrelevant </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>The planning and development of recent strategic change initiatives have included (select all that apply):
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management LEADING CHALLENGES What have been some of leading hurdles to achieving the level and duration of results of these objectives? <ul><ul><li>Insufficient financial or organizational resources/capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak or ill-defined financial, strategic or operational objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of commitment or support from critical managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-divisional or cross-departmental infighting or lack of coordination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak or inappropriate monitoring and/or progress reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of individual accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other: _____________________________________________ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>poor average excellent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management CONTRIBUTORS TO SUCCESS Which do you believe to be the 3 most important components of a successful strategic change program and which do you feel are the 3 least important? <ul><ul><li>Formed a dedicated staff to support the day-to-day execution of the plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporated departmental and business-line support in strategy formulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Written plan addressing broad strategy, supporting initiatives and execution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Required resources were properly identified and allocated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly-visible executive-level support, commitment and participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management changes to assure proper skills/experience to support plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual performance appraisals and incentive compensation tied to strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progress against key milestones was regularly monitored and communicated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>most important least important </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Strategy Execution </li></ul><ul><li>& Strategic Change Management </li></ul><ul><li>Leading Causes of Failure </li></ul>Section II
“ Corporate Strategies are intellectually simple, their execution is not. The question is, can you execute? That’s what differentiates one company from another.” <ul><li> Larry Bossidy, former CEO Honeywell and Allied Signal </li></ul>
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of companies and their executives, the answer to this question is a resounding “ No.”
“… less than 10% of the strategies effectively formulated are effectively executed.” — Robert Kaplan, Harvard Business School “… well-formulated business strategies fail 90 percent of the time…due to poor implementation…” — Raymond E. Levitt and William Malek, Stanford University “ Companies typically realise only about 60% of their strategy’s potential value because of failures in planning and execution.” — Economist Intelligence Unit survey
SIDELINED BY WEAK STRATEGY EXECUTION <ul><li>Strategy execution at most companies are plagued by such challenges as: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weak or inconsistent senior-level commitment, support, or motivation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resistance by key managers or other internal constituents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ambiguous roles and responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental lack of accountability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cross departmental conflicts and inadequate coordination across organizational boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial and other critical resource constraints </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to prepare or agree on an execution plan with properly defined objectives, responsibilities, and timelines </li></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Complacency. </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficiently powerful guiding coalition. </li></ul><ul><li>Weak vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Weak communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to remove obstacles. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to create short-term wins. </li></ul><ul><li>Declaring victory too quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>Neglecting to anchor changes within the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>* John Kotter, Leading Change . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1997. </li></ul>John Kotter’s Leading Causes of Transformational Failure
Carl von Clausewitz On War and “Friction” Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz (1781-1831), author of Vom Kriege , ( On War ), introduced military strategists to the concept of “friction” which he described as the “…force that resists all action. It makes the simple difficult and the difficult seem impossible.” Put simply, friction refers to the challenges encountered when a strategy that requires the coordination and collaboration of a large group of different units meets the harsh realities of the battlefield. Von Clausewitz identified a number of sources of friction, including: The “Fog of War” or the inherent confusion during battle and difficulty of gathering reliable information; indecision by frontline officers; lack of proper arms, munitions and equipment (resources); lack of proper coordination; unclear or overly-complex battle plans; and inadequate communications. Von Clausewitz found that friction becomes particularly problematic with regard to the officers two or three ranks below the field general who originally conceptualized the strategy.
<ul><li>Strategy Execution </li></ul><ul><li>& Strategic Change Management: </li></ul><ul><li>The Traditional Execution Framework </li></ul>Section III
Strategic Change Management & Corporate Revitalization TRADITIONAL FRAMEWORK <ul><li>Throughout our research, we’ve studied a number of frameworks, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GE's Change Acceleration Process (CAP) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>W. Edwards Deming’s PDCA Framework; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PRINCE2 and the Project Management Institute (PMI) Processes; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management by Objectives (MBO) / Results (MBR); and, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Numerous Proprietary Consulting Change Management Models. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>We’ve found that each of these strategy execution frameworks are surprisingly similar to one another and have summarized the basic concepts within a simple model we’ve termed “AIM.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>Strategy Execution </li></ul><ul><li>& Strategic Change Management: </li></ul><ul><li>Select Best Practices </li></ul>Section IV
BEST PRACTICES A Few Highly-Focused Objectives A proper diagnosis typically leads to a small number of obvious prescriptive alternatives. However, the patient can only survive a handful of individual treatments at any one time and still expect to survive. Similarly, study participants have told us that it is critically important to “triage” business challenges and opportunities so that leadership can focus only on those that represent the highest payoff and potential for success. The most successful companies in our study were those that concentrated on one or two (and in no case more than 3) headline objectives at any given time . Once these had been accomplished, many began turning their attention to the next best 2-3 opportunities… and then the next. However, at any particular point in time, the entire organization is crystal clear on the 2-3 objectives that are currently most important.
BEST PRACTICES Construct a Framework Whatever the initiative, research participants extolled the virtues of creating or borrowing a formal framework, including: change management, Activity Based Costing (ABC), Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Manufacturing Process Improvement (MPI), Lean Six Sigma, GE Workout initiatives, JIT & Lean Manufacturing, and Value Based Management (VBM.) A successful management framework spells out the various steps and stages of an initiative, the necessary resources, a schedule of completion, and helps identify the individuals who should be responsible for completing the various tasks . By providing a structured “recipe,” formal frameworks increase the rate of success, accelerate and enhance results, eliminate and reduce associated risks, minimize required resources, improve communications and planning, and reduce complexity.
BEST PRACTICES Put It In Writing “ A goal without a [written] plan is just a wish .” While we’ve taken liberties with Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s (1990-1944) original quote, it serves to illustrate the importance of putting the action plan in writing. The process of crafting a written plan requires both thoughtfulness and specificity. It should identify, communicate and clarify the underlying need for the performance improvement program, the program’s principle objectives, supporting initiatives, individual responsibilities and accountabilities, resource allocations, reporting and meeting requirements, a schedule of key milestones/accomplishments, and associated performance metrics. Importantly, the written plan will also serves as a “checklist” for all that has been done and all that remains to be done.
BEST PRACTICES Get Ugly Despite the best crafted plans and formal frameworks, strategic change, particularly in a time of business uncertainty, is a messy affair. As German Field Marshall Helmut Karl Bernhard Graf von Molke (a disciple of von Clausewitz) pointed out, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Recognizing this, Moltke prepared his officers to adapt to the complexity and unknown variables that would unfold on the battlefield – variables which weren’t anticipated when the initial battle plans and scenarios were envisioned. Similarly, no matter how elegant a change strategy may first appear, corporate leadership must be prepared to deviate from – or abandon – aspects of the plan as information and the environment dictate . Inevitably, every performance improvement program requires continual course corrections… the process is rarely straightforward and never pretty .
BEST PRACTICES Search and Destroy The success of any performance-improvement program is as much a function of what the leadership team chooses not to do as it is a function of what the team does. Most strategic change and performance-improvement programs are characterized by profound resources constraints – particularly in terms of time and capital. To address these constraints and to enhance operating efficiencies, several companies (as well as Jim Collins, author of Good to Great ) have suggested maintaining a “stop doing” list. From a macro-view, the “stop doing” list may include non-core businesses, assets, projects, product lines, or markets that should be divested or abandoned. From a micro-view, the list often includes the elimination of unnecessary organizational layers and low or no-value operational or job processes. More important than an actual list, however, is the willingness to embrace the mindset required to aggressively seek out and eliminate low-value and value-destroying activities .
BEST PRACTICES The Strategic CFO Among the highest performing companies within our study, the outmoded view of the Chief Financial Officer as the green eye-shade wearing head bean-counter is long dead. A CFO capable of assuming a significant strategic role offers a huge advantage over competitors with less-strategic CFOs . In addition to providing traditional financial and managerial accounting information, the CFO supports strategic planning through insights afforded by market intelligence, competitor benchmarking, and a thorough understanding of the company’s leading revenue and cost components. Further, a strategic CFO actively participates in leading the day-to-day execution of performance improvement initiatives while refining performance metrics, improving resource allocation, and cascading expected results into financial projections and the budgeting process.
BEST PRACTICES Action Talks. Bullshit Walks. “ Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying .” “ The organization is looking to senior leadership to see if their actions match their words.” “ People are skeptical. They won’t believe in any new initiative unless they see immediate, notable, and tangible results… and then regular results at short intervals throughout the continuation of the program.” “ Employees are accustomed to a regular stream of changes that never seem to have any impact on their day-to-day jobs or, apparently, on the company’s performance. Unless you demonstrate otherwise, and demonstrate it repeatedly, people will ignore the program until it – and you – simply go away.”
Permission to Fail Required In addition to requiring regular progress reports and meetings, Geoff Merszei, former CFO of Dow Chemical, explains that the heads of Dow’s individual businesses are also required to obtain his advanced “permission to fail” to meet their agreed upon goals and targets. When individual business heads seek his permission to fail, Dow’s CFO and CEO have the opportunity to provide (i) any necessary resources or (ii) intervene with any cross-business conflicts to help the business get back on track . If nothing can be done to meet the originally scheduled objective, advanced warning allows the team to coordinate with other businesses who’s own initiatives are at risk due to possible inter-dependence with the trailing business. BEST PRACTICES
BEST PRACTICES A Culture of Accountability “ The written action plan has each manager’s name next to a given task. A name – not a title. The action plan and progress reports are circulated broadly. Everyone knows who’s performing and who’s not. Peer pressure can be brutal.” “ The program and individual projects can’t be managed by committee which, all too often, permit people to avoid, or be shielded from, having their name associated with decisions or responsibilities.” “ The program needs to be more important than any single individual. If someone isn’t performing, there needs to be some consequence. This may take the form of an informal discussion, formal performance-review, removal from a critical project, reduction in bonus, a job reassignment, or even termination .”
BEST PRACTICES External Perspectives While Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Captain of US Airways Flight 1549, began the decent to safely glide and land the disabled Airbus A320 onto the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, his head continued to rise and fall as he – and his flight crew – double-checked the information provided by the flight-deck gauges against the view outside the cockpit window. By accurately achieving proper airspeed, glide path, pitch and wing level, Captain Sully and his crew were able to land the aircraft on the river without the loss of a single life. Several CEOs in our research report the importance of doing much the same (albeit on a much less dramatic scale.) Unfortunately, the internal perspectives of a Company and its competitive environment are not always in sync with reality. Recognizing this, many successful leaders regularly solicit external perspectives from external board members, CEOs of non-competing companies, trusted consultants and advisors, interim managers, external hires, and debt and equity analysts.
Strategy Execution & Strategic Change Management THE STRATEGY AUDIT Based upon our initial research findings, academic and professional experience, and the contribution of leading consultants, academics and current and former CEOs, we’ve developed a strategy audit comprised of ~225 questions to help Companies’ assess both their strategies and execution management. The audit addresses such topics as competitive environment, strategy development, strategic leadership and management, strategy execution and implementation, communications and risk management practices. The following section presents 55 representative questions from the audit (which we will continue to refine and expand as our research progresses.) A copy of the entire audit may be found in the appendices of Robert’s forthcoming book Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way: Driving Rapid and Lasting Strategic Performance (Spring/Summer 2011) or upon request (email@example.com). Alternatively, interested companies are also invited to contact Robert and the research team about conducting a strategy review or audit for a modest stipend .
COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT <ul><li>Has the Company clearly defined its business and industry? Has management established the boundaries for the business and industry in terms of products, services, customers, customer segments, technology, geography, etc? Has the same been done for each of the Company’s key business segments? </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and describe the market environment – including, among other considerations, the size and description of the broader industry (by total sales, volume, etc.), the size and description of relevant industry segments, and discuss capacity and supply/demand considerations. </li></ul><ul><li>Does the Company and/or its industry suffer significant customer or supplier concentration? If so, who are the leading customers and/or suppliers and what effect, if any, do they have on the relative financial performance of the company and its competitors? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the customers’ key buying criteria? How do these criteria differ, if at all, from one customer segment to another? From one product segment to another? </li></ul><ul><li>Identify pricing and profitability bands between/among leading products, quality profiles, distribution systems, production methods, and/or any other relevant criteria. What is the route-cause of the differences within and between these bands? </li></ul>
<ul><li>What is the economic and market health of the industry, its key customer segments, and critical suppliers? How has the economic health evolved during the past 5-10 years? How are the present economics expected to evolve over the next 3-7 years? </li></ul><ul><li>What significant events, if any, have occurred – or are expected to occur – that have impacted the industry? New product introductions? New technology? Bankruptcy or acquisition of leading customer or competitor? New market entrant? </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare competitor profiles to include summary descriptions of the competitors, their principle subsidiaries/segments, annual revenues, total assets, product and service portfolio, nature of production/manufacturing, marketing and sales (pricing, sales initiatives, etc.), distribution channels, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the key drivers of any variances in margins (and any other key performance measures) between the Company and its leading competitors? </li></ul><ul><li>How has the Company – and its leading competitors – performed through past business and economic cycles? Customers? Suppliers? </li></ul>
STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT <ul><li>Reflecting the strategic opportunities and threats, what is the ultimate objective of the Company’s strategy or change program? Market share? Competitive products? Profitability? Cash Flow? Market Capitalization? Other? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the performance expectations of shareholders and other investors (such as lenders)? Is the Company delivering against these expectations? If not, what is the performance gap that needs to be bridged? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the company understand the relative profitability of various customers or customer segments (markets) served? Has the company made a decision with regard to which customers or customer segments to concentrate and which to minimize or abandon? </li></ul><ul><li>What businesses, products, assets and processes are core to the Company’s strategic direction? Which businesses, products, assets and processes are no longer core? How will non-core businesses, products, assets and processes be monetized and/or capital reallocated? </li></ul><ul><li>Does management have an objective and accurate understanding of the Company’s resources and capabilities? Financial resources? Human resources? Proprietary knowledge or technology (patents, etc.)? Distribution channels and customer relationships? Production capacity or methodologies? Other strategic resources and capabilities? What plans has management developed to address any weaknesses in capabilities or resource constraints? </li></ul>
<ul><li>Has management identified strategic options/alternatives that would achieve the Company’s ultimate strategic objectives (as described in question #11)? </li></ul><ul><li>Which alternatives have the most favorable impact on the Company’s critical success criteria? Which of the alternatives offer the most favorable balance of strategic and performance impact versus likelihood of successful execution? </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the Company’s strategic alternatives, if adopted, would most provoke competitors? What would be each competitor’s most likely response(s)? How would these competitor responses impact the viability and profitability of the Company’s strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the chosen strategy and supporting initiatives support a balance between short, intermediate and long-term objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the Company generate sufficient free cash flow and maintain adequate liquidity to internally fund the financial requirements of the strategic program? What additional sources of liquidity does the Company maintain (revolving credit, shelf registrations, pending asset/business divestitures, etc.)? </li></ul>
STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT <ul><li>Has a senior management team been formed to develop and oversee the strategy and supporting initiatives? Does this team include the CEO, COO and/or CFO? If not, why not? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the defined strategic role of the board of directors? What are the board meeting and reporting requirements with regard to strategy and progress against key objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the members of the senior leadership team understand the current competitive environment, the need for change, and agree that the chosen strategy is the best of available alternatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Has senior leadership put in place a process for planning, organizing, monitoring, controlling and revising the execution of the strategy, supporting initiatives, and results? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the Company established a strategic intelligence system in which competitive and market intelligence is regularly gathered, updated, and disseminated? Have the sources of this intelligence and update frequency been documented and individual responsibility assigned? </li></ul>
<ul><li>Does management regularly seek and value external perspectives from non-executive board members, consultants, interim managers, business analysts, external hires, etc? Have these external perspectives been used to develop and test strategic thinking? Are external perspectives sought to gauge the results or impact associated with the achievement of key project milestones? </li></ul><ul><li>How has management performed in the recent past with regard to its ability to execute strategic change initiatives and achieve financial forecasts? Review past strategic plans, large-scale strategic initiatives and multi-year financial forecasts relative to actual post-plan performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Is the senior leadership willing to replace colleagues and coworkers who are unwilling or unable to support the program? Can the senior leadership offer an example of replacing such an individual? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the Company provided a process for requesting, approving, documenting, and communicating revisions and change orders to the strategic plan and supporting initiatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Does management use dedicated project meetings, meeting agendas & meetings minutes to frequently assess progress, reinforce expectations and update/revise supporting initiatives? Are meeting minutes prepared to record the meeting discussions and any commitments made or outstanding action items? </li></ul>
STRATEGY EXECUTION & IMPLEMENTATION <ul><li>Has management produced a written action or strategic plan? Does the written plan detail: (i) the business environment and underlying drivers for change? (ii) the opportunities and challenges? (iii) the broad strategy? (iv) the key supporting initiatives? (v) the budget and resource allocations supporting the various initiatives? (vi) a calendar of key milestones? (vii) targeted schedule of completion? (viii) performance measures and metrics? (ix) communications plan and calendar? (x) Other important business or industry-specific considerations? </li></ul><ul><li>Is management’s strategic change program focused on no more than 2-3 headline initiatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Have individual strategic initiatives, work breakdown, and sequencing been cascaded through the organization as reflected in divisional, departmental, team and employee performance objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>Have these supporting initiatives each been assigned to a single manager who is clearly responsible and accountable for successful completion? Has the manager signed-off on the initiative work plan and publicly acknowledged his/her accountability? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the managers assigned to oversee the supporting strategic initiatives have sufficient time to both lead the initiatives and fulfill their regular responsibilities? If not, what arrangements have been or will be made to provide managers with the necessary support? </li></ul>
<ul><li>Has the Company identified and removed any critical constraints or obstacles to the launch of execution and implementation? [Additional constraints and obstacles will be identified and managed post-launch] </li></ul><ul><li>Have sufficient resources (financial, people, equipment, time, etc.) been properly allocated? Is there a process for managers to secure or request additional resources that may be needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the Company scheduled a regular series of short-term wins to advance the strategy, on which to base communications, and to establish momentum? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the senior leadership provide consistent pressure to deliver daily, weekly, and monthly progress in support of strategic objectives? How is this pressure for progress manifested? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the Company provided a process for requesting, approving, documenting, and communicating revisions and change orders to the strategic plan and supporting initiatives? </li></ul>
ORGANIZATIONAL ALIGNMENT <ul><li>Does the Company have a solid understanding of the organizational requirements to achieve its strategic plan? Similarly, is the company aware of its organizational limitations and how to overcome or mitigate such limitations? [i.e. has the company considered the appropriateness of the current organizational structure relative to the new strategic direction and corresponding demands on the organization?] </li></ul><ul><li>Does the existing management information system (MIS) provide sufficient information for decision support? </li></ul><ul><li>Have the financial contributions and demands of the strategy and supporting initiatives been incorporated into the annual budgeting process and financial forecasts? </li></ul><ul><li>Have individual job descriptions, incentive compensation and performance appraisal systems been revised to assess individuals against metrics and activities that support the strategy? Has each individual been provided sufficient authority, control and the necessary resources to deliver the results for which they are responsible? </li></ul><ul><li>Has Human Resources and the individual business units revised their recruiting, hiring, promotional and training systems to align with the new demands of the strategy? Is the workforce aware of these changes? </li></ul>
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS <ul><li>Does the Company have a written communications plan (including a communications schedule) and is management actually delivering communications against this plan? </li></ul><ul><li>In conducting communications, does management regularly explain (i) the underlying need for the strategic change, (ii) the various alternatives considered, (iii) the rational for selecting the ultimate strategy; (iv) the key supporting initiatives and objectives; and (v) the anticipated results of the program? </li></ul><ul><li>Have the core messages been integrated throughout the Company’s regular internal and external communications, including town hall meetings, small group or team meetings, company publications, intranet, one-to-one discussion, public releases, financial releases shareholder and/or lender conferences, broadcast and print media, etc.? </li></ul><ul><li>Does senior leadership accept that “management is the message”? If so, does management “walk the talk”? Are the senior leadership’s actions and decisions consistent with the strategic change program? Are these actions and decisions visible? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the majority of communications fact and action-based ? i.e. based upon the communication of actions, activities, and accomplishments achieved? Has management placed a moratorium on communicating “fuzzy” values and mission statements? </li></ul>
RISK MANAGEMENT <ul><li>Does the strategic plan provide for a risk management framework? Does the plan identify and outline key risks and mitigants? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the Company sought to eliminate and/or reduce the complexity associated with the execution of the strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Has management established adequate buffers and reserves (time and financial) to address the inevitable delays, set-backs and challenges encountered? </li></ul><ul><li>Have “what if…” scenarios been tested to identify and mitigate additional project and company-specific risks? </li></ul><ul><li>Has management properly allocated critical resources? Is there an established process to rapidly reallocate resources if/when necessary? </li></ul>
Appendix Two: RECOMMENDED READING Hrebiniak, Lawrence G. Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change . Philadelphia, PA: Wharton School Publishing, 2005. Kaplan, Robert S. and David P. Norton. The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2008. Kotter, John. Leading Change . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1996. Morgan, Mark; Raymond E. Levitt and William Malek. Executing Your Strategy: How to Break It Down and Get It Done . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2007. Neilson, Gary L. and Bruce A. Pasternack. Results: Keep What’s Good, Fix What’s Wrong, and Unlock Great Performance . New York, NY: Crown Publishing, 2005. Tabrizi, Behnam N. Rapid Transformation: A 90-Day Plan for Fast and Effective Change . Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2007.