Companies & Industries

The Shortest Route to a Successful Strategy


To succeed as a strategist, you need a thorough understanding of what makes people tick. That’s on top of industry dynamics, customer behavior, and financial savvy. You need to have a deep understanding of how people process information and make decisions, what makes them care about an idea, and what gives them the energy to take action. That’s when an execution “shortcut” becomes visible.

What do I mean by an execution shortcut? Most strategies lose between 40 percent and 60 percent of their financial potential, because all too often there are naysayers along the way. Sometimes we make it easy by overestimating our communication abilities; giving people too many choices and not specific direction; and simply killing our own ideas due to mental exhaustion. These factors can override our own rational thinking and stop us from executing ideas.

A path to execution exists in every organization but mostly stays hidden. Here are three connections you’ll need to find that path: Identify the people who need to be aware of your strategy; the people who need to care about your strategy; and those with a clear vision of what it takes to push your strategy forward. These connections smooth the way for the strategists’ big idea to get to the people who will help execute that idea.

It helps to discover the routes that successful strategies take through an organization to learn how to execute our own ideas effectively. Examining successful strategies provides unique insights; they show us the path and the ingenuity their creators used to overcome obstacles. That newly gathered wisdom will help take your strategy from idea to execution.

Jeroen De Flander is co-founder of The Performance Factory. His new book is The Execution Shortcut.

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