Get Your Head Out Of The Clouds

Get Your Head Out Of The Clouds

Too often strategy and execution do not align in our space. However, there is a way that we can all do better in this regard.

We all have great ideas at some point in our lives, but do we execute on them? Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. Think about it, how many times have you had an idea only to see that idea become a product or a full company months or years later? It happens to all of us.

In the article “Closing the Chasm Between Strategy and Execution” by Doug Sundheim, he says that setting strategy is elegant. “It’s a clean and sophisticated process of collecting and analyzing data, generating insights, and identifying smart paths forward. Done at arm’s length in an academic fashion, tight logic is the only glue needed to hold ideas together. The output is a smooth narrative in a professional-looking document made up of Venn diagrams, 2×2 matrices, and high-level plans of attack. Jettison this business. Focus efforts here. Build up this organizational capability. Executives buy into the plan. The strategists, confident in their intellectual prowess, quietly recede into the background.”

Sundheim warns, “Then the trouble starts. Ex- ecution is a minefield. The clean and elegant logic of strategy gets dirty in the real world. Agendas compete. Priorities clash. Decisions stall. Communication breaks down. Timelines get blown. It’s never a question of if these problems will happen; it’s a question of when and to what degree. Managing these challenges takes street smarts and muscle. Overwhelming success means you take a few punches, but still make the plan happen. The process is always a little ugly. The executors’ dirt-in-the-fingernails view on the ground is much different from the strategists’ high-minded view from the air.”  Check out for the full article.