July 18, 2019

Strategy-Driven Execution…?

Peter Djokovich

Peter Djokovich
Senior Partner/Commission Systems

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I read a recent LinkedIn Discussion where the question was posed: what do you think about the effectiveness of Strategy-Driven Execution?

Wait. What?

My gut response was: is there anything else that should conceivably be driving business process Execution... except Strategy?

And, if you have an answer for that other than ‘no’, then I have for you the (true) story of the old soldier they found in a Pacific island cave, still fighting World War II, guarding his post, almost 50 years after his country signed the War-ending peace treaty. When they told him the War was over, he didn't believe them. When they told him how long it had been over, he got mad.

Execution of work always needs to be based on an explicit underlying strategy. But, things can go wrong, sideways, backwards, if the strategy is ill-conceived or if execution is performed poorly, or both.

Pity that soldier. A striking example of good people, doing the wrong things, and suffering the consequences. Sometimes you’ve got to come out of the cave and reassess the conditions, ask questions: why IS it that no one has been answering your radio calls, sending you commands or messages, or, shooting at you? For forty years.

Any execution, or performance of work tasks to achieve a specific outcome, that is not specifically based on a defined strategy of an enterprise, is a work task that is counter-productive, if not outright destructive, to the enterprise’s Mission and Goals.

If your business process execution is not strategy-based, please seriously reconsider. Ask questions. Reassess the conditions and the assumptions. Talk to your customers. Talk to your boss, or your boss’ boss. Talk to your co-workers. What you’re doing might be bad for you. It’s bad for your organization (if it even matters any more), it’s bad for your co-workers and shareholders, and most probably your customers, too. And, eventually someone will discover it, and terminate the whole endeavor; execute the execution, so to speak.

Your business Vision and Mission drive priorities. Priorities drive strategy. Strategies drive readiness and execution. Execution is enabled by business process. Business process is executed by people. And, technology enables the people and their process.

Now, if it’s the effectiveness of the actual execution we’re wondering about here, that’s where active Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) comes in. Execution can’t work if it’s un-managed, even if the strategy is sound.

But, if the strategy itself is bad from the start, we need to be asking the basic question; why was that soldier even in that cave to begin with? More on that, next time.


My perspective is built upon providing growth, sales, distribution, and customer relationship management strategy execution advisory for just about 35 years. I’ve had the opportunity to assist over a thousand organizations acquire and retain top performing employees, channels, and customers. My clients have achieved consistent success in the short, medium, and long-term; some I have served for over two decades. If you'd like me to write or comment on growth strategy development and execution, performance management process and technology, or performance-based incentive compensation plans or technology, please reach out via my advisorycloud profile.

Copyright © 2019, Peter Djokovich, All Rights Reserved

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