Balancing Strategy and Execution

As we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, we need to drive short-term results while also rethinking strategy amid seismic shifts in competitive environments and ways of working. It’s not strategy vs. execution; it’s strategy and execution with the right balance in the right timeframes. As leaders, we can struggle with this balance. In this article entitled How New CEOs Can Balance Strategy and Execution, they recommend a three-phase process can help new CEOs, but I think they are generally applicable:

  • Defend the core – In the first 90 days, we should mostly be on understanding and defending the company’s existing core businesses.
  • Extend the core – In the next 90 days, we should shift priorities to identifying ways to extend the core business by expanding the portfolio and/or entering promising adjacent markets.
  • Transcend the core – In the final six months of the first year, we should lay the groundwork for transcending the core business to support sustainable growth

This Defend, Extend, Transcend framework can help evaluate the company’s position, identified key short-term priorities, and resources to address them before focusing on the future strategy. The article doesn’t elaborate much on the ‘how to’ of the ‘Execution’ side of balancing the equation. Fortunately, we did give a on Strategic Execution webinar last year.

July 21, 2021