Strategy That Works


Strategy That Works 
Author Paul Leinwand, Cesare R. Mainardi
Title Strategy That Works
Subtitle How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap
Category Management
162527520X / 978-1625275202  
Publisher Harvard Business Review Press
Country USA
Published 02-Feb-2016
No of Pages 288

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This excellent piece of work is a practical guide concerning all companies which provides scientific advice and solutions for long-term growth.

Through years of enduring studies, it is discovered that in many organizational settings, there is lack of a winning strategy, absence of a companies’ system of distinctive capabilities, lost opportunities not been “exploited” in a positive way. These facts reflect the reality that the majority of enterprises come across and straggle with.

That means there is no connectivity at all between what a firm aims to according to its vision and where far to go. It is noted that some leaders focus mostly in forming a strategy whereas others do just the opposite by putting their energy to the part of execution. Only a small number of organisations combine strategy and execution successfully. Such brilliant examples to be mentioned are the 14 firms that participated in the research, the long-standing and renowned enterprises: Haier, Lego, Starbucks, Frito-lay, Qualcomm, Amazon, Apple, CEMEX, Danaher, IKEA, Natura, Inditex, JCI, and Pfizer.

The authors refer to the five acts of unconventional leadership, “a recipe”, that demonstrates consistent results of efficiency and effectiveness in generating great revenue and transformation of company’s bright future. The leaders’ behaviors are cited below:
Commit to identity: Give answers to questions like: “Who you are?”, “What do you do best?”, “Who do you want to be?” Once you do that, you will have a clear view of where you stand. Focus on your strengths and take advantage of them for the enterprise’s good.
Translate the strategic into the everyday: Design a “blueprint” (plan) consisting of your most distinctive capabilities: people (with their skills and knowledge), processes and technology. Mix them all together and put them into practice. This requires your commitment and your employees’ engagement so as to become fruitful. Coherent companies, have the habit of communicating to their employees the reasons of the significance of capabilities and how their contribution in execution via their productivity creates value.
Put your culture to work: Use your culture in the favour of the company you represent and its human resources to reinforce your strategy. Keep in mind that culture along with your people (including their values, principles, beliefs) is your greatest asset. Let your human capital bring their own vividness and enthusiasm to the organization and make them feel the sense that they are a fundamental part of your company. This is how you gain their trust and how you develop an excellent strategically-oriented rapport with them.
Cut costs to grow stronger: Ensure your top team’s aspect of company’s focus on constant improvement to be displayed with skillfulness and proper attention happening repeatedly. Apply an effective process of planning and controlling the business budget. Begin a discussion and set strategic priorities by separating the costs that do not matter from the ones they do. For instance, do not consolidate the improvement of employees within a single budget line called training and development, which is attached to Human Resource Management function. Do not perceive it as a single cost centre because it will be harsh on you to differentiate it from the training that really matters to your capabilities and training that requires less concentration. A wise allocation of costs based on capabilities will clarify the kind of training that deserves your attention.
Shape your future: Recharge your capabilities system by being open to challenges and in readiness to distinguish the signs of external change that will bring internal change so as to further your identity. Learn how you, as a leader/top manager/executive and your personnel to become skilled in creating demand by taking your customers’ “pulse” to create products and services to satisfy their needs. Become dominant in the category you are “playing” versus other companies and obtain a respected position of a super competitor. Attract, recruit and retain most skilled employees from the labour market and make the best use of their talents and interests. In many companies, improving employees’ skills and proficiency turn to be the best investment along with the rest of your capabilities alignment and most of all
they pay-off.


Contributed by: Maria Christofi