Successfully Executing Strategy

By Michele Studer, MBA

Note: This is the last article in the three-part series. Part 1 discussed the roadmap and project portfolio and part 2 covered creating an effective governance structure and disciplined project management.  


Recruit a High Performance Transformation Team
The transformation team is a group of collaborative, creative and crafty people who understand how your business fits together. They relish the wiliest problems and are experts at clearing obstacles from the path to success.

While this team may be composed of functional experts, they all must be able to see through the silo walls and identify the potential value creation. The strongest candidates for this team are those who have a strong foundation in competitive, marketing, operational and financial strategy. They are also experts in understanding that the people make it all work.

Most importantly, they are intrepid communicators. They may have an innate ability to communicate exceptionally well, and/or they may have studied techniques such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The transformation team can translate the most ambiguous strategic plans into executable projects for all levels of the organization. They are equally comfortable presenting to senior executives and the front line. They are known for their ability to motivate teams to achieve the most impossible business goals. They are patient and persistent.

The transformation team becomes the steward of mission-critical information. Ideally, they are brought in during strategic planning and begin learning the economic and strategic rationale behind the growth strategy. Using their experience from past initiatives and other transformational projects, they can identify additional synergies and potential pitfalls. Because of their ability to clear obstacles, they can readily turn the pitfalls into potential.

It is imperative that the transformation team practice disciplined project management to maintain a keen eye on scope creep, time constraints and resource constraints. They develop a communication plan to keep all of the key stakeholders informed of successes and impending risk. Essentially, their job is to make sure that there are no surprises.

The transformation team fills the gaps between the strategic plan in the PowerPoint® presentation and the key stakeholders who must adopt the initiative. The transformation team ensures that the initiative moves from stakeholder adoption to organizational institutionalization.

How can you apply the ideas presented in this series to help your organization create and capture more value? What have you done that has worked well in the past? Share your experiences so we can all benefit from them.