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Change & Transformation, Management General

Harvard Secrets to Strategy Execution

There is a great short post on HBS by Ilona Steffen, Niko Canner and Gary Neilson on avoiding the costly mistake many organizations make when reacting to poor performance; pulling out the org chart for another restructure. Rather than messing around with restructuring and incentives, the authors propose, executives should look at more effective levers including decision rights, information flow and motivators.

There are several critical lessons from this company’s experience in the Idea in Practice. Here is a preview:

Find a common language. Make sure everyone can talk about the execution issues you face in the same way.

Walk the talk. People at the top of the organization need to believe in the changes and visibly support them so that the rest of the organization is motivated to change behavior.

Focus on both organizational and behavioral changes. It is more effective to change both rather than focusing on one or another.

Know your organization. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving an organization’s ability to execute.

You must find what works for you.

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