July 18, 2019

Strategy or Execution: What's More Important?

Peter Djokovich

Peter Djokovich
Senior Partner/Commission Systems

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Strategy Formulation and Strategy Execution is like architecture and construction, the songwriter and the band, or a recipe and cooking: they are co-essential and completely interdependent. You can’t fulfill one without the other, and you have to get them both right if you want to achieve your goals and objectives.

With bad blueprints, the house you build will be sub-functional, may be unsightly, and likely dangerous. With good blueprints but bad construction, the house you build may be nice looking, but certainly sub-functional and definitely dangerous.

Real-world, though? In the field and on the floor, while both Strategy Formulation and Execution have their challenges and difficulties, we’ve seen that Execution demands a lot more sustained leadership commitment, resource allocation, continuity, metric and time-horizon precision, and mass participation: drawing the house is easier than actually building it, writing the recipe is easier than baking that cake, you've got to sing that song. 

We’ve also seen that the “known deficiencies” in an organization’s Execution abilities (including absentee leadership, weak business process, vague metrics, imprecise measurement, poor enabling technologies) actually bias, disable and dilute the Strategy Formulation Process.

That results in: “well, we realize that our enterprise isn’t capable of really executing the strategies we actually need to execute, so we’ll just come up with some that we can.” Conclusion: Bad Execution degrades Strategy Formulation. In engineering (and plumbing), they call that Back-flow, and it's bad.

In worst-case scenarios, this profound inability to actually Execute creates a Strategy Formulation process that is corrupted, warped and disabled before it even engages. So, organizations spend far too much attempting to Execute Bad Strategy.

This fundamental deficiency can be repaired with the powerful performance management process and automation solutions that exist today: to enable leaders and the workforce with the timely, precise and relevant performance results in information that they need to actively manage Execution. And, with the process- and technology-enabled Execution, credible and legitimate Strategies can be formulated. And, goals achieved.


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 © 2017, Peter Djokovich, All Rights Reserved

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