From Strategy to Execution

How does a high performance team move from strategy to execution?

It begins with collaboration.

Cross-functional collaboration is the hallmark of successful organizations that move adeptly from strategy to execution. And optimally effective cross-functional collaboration begins by clearly defining roles and responsibilities. High performance organizations look to customers and performers to own and lead the execution of promises and commitments.

A promise is a declaration that one will take a specific action to produce a particular outcome within a defined time frame. Promises also define strategy. When we put a stake in the ground by making a promise, we indicate how we intend to go about achieving a goal, thus beginning the process of moving from strategy to execution.

But promises are typically expressed at too high a level to clearly and completely move from strategy to execution. We need more detail, so the next step is to identify the commitments.

Commitments are pledges that are made in order to fulfill a promise. As the promise defines the strategy, commitments collectively represent the tactical road map that leads the way to success.

For each project or initiative, at least one promise sets expectations. For each promise, there are some number of supporting commitments that define specific actions that will be taken to achieve success. Defining promises and commitments is a crucial step in moving from strategy to execution.

For example, an emerging business makes a promise to create and implement a strategy for human capital development to position the organization as a magnet for top talent. To fulfill this promise, several commitments are identified and fulfilled.

By identifying and fulfilling promises and commitments, you and your organization can consistently and successfully move from strategy to execution.


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