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Strategy in human affairs is vested more in the process of leading following and doing things with specific ends, goal or objects in mind. Great strategies precipitate great performance by means of sound strategic management process including strategy formulation and implementation. This paper discusses the process of turning great strategy into great performance by means of inspiration. The paper seeks to arouse the daring spirit of extraordinary performance founded on sound strategy formulation and implementation. This is in contribution to a thematic course for middle and senior executive on policy, leadership and strategy. The paper also dedicates a simulation exercise to the implementation of new national health policy in Nigeria. The British popular phrase of ‘who dares win’ is captured as the battle cry of the exercise.

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  1. 1. STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION: TURNING GREAT STRATEGY INTO GREAT PERFORMANCE BY TANKO AHMED, fwc Senior Fellow (Security & Strategic Studies) Research Directorate, National Institute, Kuru 08037031744 –
  2. 2. A Lecture Delivered to the NIPSS Policy, Strategy and Leadership Course 27 on Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
  3. 3.
  4. 4. WHO DARES WIN • The phrase ‘Who Dares Win’ came from the popular motto of the British Special Air Service – an elite unit of the British military which is often tasked with the most difficult operations under pressure of time and resources. • The title of this Paper – ‘Strategy Implementation: Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance’ – aspires to discuss how great strategy turns into great performance. • The theme of the NIPSS-PLSC 27 of July 2017, ‘Nigerian National Health Policy’ provides the enough attributes, challenges and remedies as testing ground for turning great strategy into great performance.
  5. 5. Some Illustrations from Popular Adage • The proof of the pudding is in the eating • ‘Good, better, best never let it rest until your good is better and your better best’ • ‘People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher or better than themselves’. • ‘Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you; and never excuse yourself, never pity yourself, but be your own hard master and be lenient to everybody else’
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION “… strategy must become extraordinary to create a new mandate that … will change how the game is played altogether” – Pitts (2016)
  7. 7. Background • The effective realization of any plan or strategy depends on how available resources are perceived, harnessed and allocated to relevant components by the various levels of organizational leadership. • Strategy implementation is the realization of formulated strategies for attainment of set goals involving all levels of the leadership cadre. • Strategic leadership cuts across the top, middle and lower of strategy for the purpose of formulation, translation and execution.
  8. 8. Challenge of Leadership • Challenges facing leadership in strategy implementation are often hinged on concept and practice difficulties. • These operational dimensions also translate and apply strategy implementation process differently therefore affecting entire organizational and resource management. • This paper deals with organizational and resource dimensions in strategy implementation aimed at achieving great strategy for great performance
  9. 9. Literature Trend • Strategy-related literature has generally gone through rapid transformation and adaption from classical military application to contemporary organizational studies and practice (Mitchell, 1996; Acur & Englyst, 2006; Li, Guohu & Eppler, 2008; Bordean, et al. 2010). • General literature on factors influencing strategy implementation indicates insufficient attention given to understanding leading to conceptual inadequacy in practical application (Li, Guohu & Eppler, 2008). • These adaptations avail to the need for clear conceptualization of strategy implementation later in this present.
  10. 10. Theorem • Theories of organization in strategic context tend to demonstrate compatibility on how entities are used; viewed as purposeful structures; and focused as set of tasks and actions (Douma & Schreuder, 2013). • Theories of strategy or theories of action associated with strategy implementation flow along conceptual transition overtime. • This paper stands on the integrative framework for theory of strategy seen as strategic control for ultimate implementation and performance.
  11. 11. Problem Statement • As leadership of organizations harnesses resources in series of decisions and actions, it is often difficult to grasp, understand and control what goes around in complex activities. • The strategic management process and strategy formulation remain useless without putting them into use, strategy implementation is therefore an essential part of the entire strategic cycle. • Strategy implementation is the critical stage of complex cross-functional relationships of organizational components found in the strategic management process.
  12. 12. Objectives of the Paper • To conceptualize strategy implementation and control, inspiration, great strategy, great performance and national health policy of Nigeria 2016; • To discuss and correlate organizational and resource dimensions in strategy implementation; • To establish strategy implementation as anchorage for strategic control, great strategy, and great performance; and • To itemize the attributes of a great strategy, and how to turn great strategy into great performance
  14. 14. Strategy Implementation • Implementation is the process of carrying out, fulfilling, realization or execution of a task, an application or a plan. • Strategy implementation is the second stage task after strategy formulation, involving the application or execution of plans through series of decisions and actions in pursue of set goals or objectives. • This task rests on the shoulders of organizational leadership for communication of mission, allocation of tasks and resources and coordination of cross-functional relationships (Brinkschroder, 2014)
  15. 15. Strategy Control • Strategic control is the process used for control of the formation and execution of strategic plans. • It defers from the usual management or operational controls with more attention given to uncertainties and ambiguities encountered along the way of strategy implementation (Reufli & Sarrazin, 1981). • It is particularly focused on attainment of long term goals rather than short term objectives based on review of performance. Strategy control is also the ‘look out’ component of strategy implementation signaling which way to go.
  16. 16. Inspiration • Inspiration involves stimulation, encouragement, motivation, galvanization, impassion or spurring to action a group, team, followers or organization for attainment of set goals (Aron, 2015). • This is done through series of well-designed and deliberate actions and events which influence behavior, attitude and zeal of subordinates to perform effectively and efficiently. • This process of influence allows for leaders to make followers or organizations to think, act and deliver beyond the ordinary (Bass & Riggio, 2008; Charland, 2016). • Thus, inspiration is a formidable leadership tool for creating extraordinary performance.
  17. 17. Great Strategy • A great strategy “…must become extraordinary to create a new mandate that … will chance how the game is played altogether … requiring leadership [able to achieve] extraordinary outcomes while impacting the future picture” (Pitts, 2016, p. 106). • The ten elements of strategy include critical reflection; power of simple message; marathon thinking; sense of reality; and the idea that less is more. • Others are balanced listening; actionable content; energetic deployment; fanatic follow up; and living and breathing the strategy (Hamalian, 2012).
  18. 18. Great Performance • Great Performance demands strategies that can help leaders reach beyond ordinary success by increased effectiveness and efficiency for achieving spectacular results (Cameron, 2012). • It is measured on how well objectives are met given internal and external factors influencing available resource management (Ruben, 2003; Davis, 2005). • Great performance is attained through positive leadership enabling positive climate, relationship, communication and meaningful inspiration.
  19. 19. Nigeria’s National Health Policy 2016 • The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 2006). • Huber, et al. (2011) proposes the inclusion of the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical and emotional challenges. • The Nigerian National Health Policy 2016 has a vision for universal health coverage; mission to provide comprehensive framework for harnessing resource; policy goal of strengthening Nigeria’s health system; and policy thrust in good governance and service delivery.
  21. 21. Organizational Dimension • Challenges facing organizational leadership in strategy implementation often hinge on concept and practice in which the exercise is performed outside strategic context in search of greater strategy and performance (Crosby, 1996). • For effective implementation of strategy, organizational leadership should know which lever to pull and which button to press in order to improve overall performance. • It is critical for organizational leadership at all levels to possess the ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility and empowers others to create strategic change.
  22. 22. Resource Dimension • Strategy implementation is “the match an organization makes between its internal resources and skills and the opportunities and risks created by its external environment” (Grant, 2001, p. 114). • The resource dimension of organization is critical to the attainment of set goals or mission. Resources are measured and managed under main categories of human, financial, technological, environmental, and natural resources. • These categories of resources often determine functional structures of organizations seen in departmental attributes like human resource, finance and works depending on mission set.
  23. 23. Strategy Implementation and Control for Great Performance • Strategy implementation involving the application or execution of plans through series of decisions and actions requires close control against uncertainties and ambiguities in order to arrive at set goals or objectives. • The responsibilities of leadership at this stage include clear and simple communication of mission, allocation of tasks and resources, and coordination of cross-functional relationships. • In this way, it is easier to focus on attainment of long term goals in addition to short term objectives based on review of performance.
  25. 25. How Leaders Create Great Strategy • Attributes of great strategy are seen through the meeting of challenges in selecting, combining, and effectively implementing the appropriate combination of strategic approaches, otherwise known as the strategy collage. • This involves leaders in the process of adjusting to dynamically circumstances of change by taking critical overarching roles in animating the strategy collage. • Leadership, here has eight roles to play including diagnosing, segmentation, disruption, team coaching, salesmanship, inquisition, scanning, and acceleration.
  26. 26. Transforming People for Better Performance • The Transformational Leadership Report (2007) quoted Steve Covey stating that the goal of leadership is to “transform” people and organizations in a literal sense; to change them in mind and heart; enlarge vision, insight, and understanding. • The Report further seeks to clarify purposes; make behaviour congruent with beliefs, principles, or values; and bring about changes that are permanent, self-perpetuating, and momentum building.
  27. 27. How Leaders Inspire Great Performance • The American Management Association (AMA) also tasks leaders to assess strengths and lead by example to rise to challenges; inject passion and sense of purpose to spark creativity and innovation; inspire the team to reach and strive for greater performance on their own; cultivate a culture where followers want to become leaders; and create and articulate vision for the future. • The AMA further advised on continuous evaluation style; exploration of skills; assessment of responsibility level; making adjustments and developing process for enhancing competencies; monitoring of progress by milestones; developing adaption process for team’s culture; and creating adjustment action plans.
  28. 28. Leadership and the Passion for Great Performance • The leader must have passion for extraordinary or great performance backed by unceasing zeal to inspire for good, better and the best. • In the words of Tim Duncan, it is “Good better best, never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better is best” • This narrative ascribes routine approach or work habit on how to inspire great performance towards the attainment of vision and mission statement.
  29. 29. Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance • Turning great strategy into great performance starts with getting the core idea right and putting the idea to work with all your might and all your guts (Mankins & Steele, 2005). • In determining the best strategy approach for great strategy and performance, the environment must be scanned for critical components in getting things right (Reeves, Haanes, & Sinha, 2015).
  30. 30. CONCLUSION
  31. 31. Conclusion • Strategy implementation poses the toughest challenges to leadership as its philosophy and practice are uplifted, expanded and embolden organizations to venture into systematic planning and execution, hitherto known only to the military in the past. • Organizational leadership at all levels should aspire not only to acquire knowledge and skills but also expand strategic faculties as agents of change. • It is strongly recommended that Participants of the NIPSS-PSLC course should cultivate and absorb the attributes of strategic thinking and action for strategy implementation on how to turn great strategy into great performance.
  33. 33. Background A Simulation Exercise is designed for the NIPSS- PSLC 27 Participants to put what they understanding about ‘strategy implementation: turning great strategy into great performance’ into practice on the implementation of Nigeria’s National Health Policy 2016.
  34. 34. Brief Profile on the National Health Policy 2016 • Vision for universal health coverage; • Mission to provide comprehensive framework for harnessing resource; • Policy goal of strengthening Nigeria’s health system; • Policy thrust in good governance and service delivery.
  35. 35. The Exercise Participants in groups are to work out the following challenges of leadership on the National Health Policy and report to the Whole House: 1. Create a Great Strategy for implementation of the National Health Policy as profiled above; and 2. How do you inspire the government, the health sector and general public for a Great Performance of the National Health Policy?
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