Strategy is a Living Thing

A recent study by brings it to the table – again: Strategy Execution is still one of the most rewarding core tasks for companies, especially their C-Level leaders. 500 senior corporate managers, 250 amongst them C-Suite leaders from a wide range of industries, with IT (10%), financial services (9%) and manufacturing (8%), doing business across the globe share their insights about Strategy Execution. And the message is:

As long as the strategy is taken seriously in daily business she will help you:

  • to significantly outperform your rivals in the market,
  • to be faster, more adaptable, more customer centric (as your strategy promises) by
  • simply achieving your set of goals.

And isn’t this what we all want as leaders?

To achieve challenging objectives and to have much fun when we invite our contributors to celebrate the success everybody had worked for so hard.

Here are the key findings of the brightline survey:

  • The case: An average of 20% of the companies’ strategic objectives are lost due to poor implementation (say the 59% leaders who admit to have difficulties in delivering the desired results).

  • Cross functional alignment: Best in class leaders install a loop of continuous feedback between strategy developers and executers across the organizations during implementation. My comment: they bring them together, which is a boost in collaboration through relationship building.

  • Continous environmental scan: “Leaders continually monitor their external environment and update both strategy and delivery as new information emerges.”

  • Decision loyalty: “Leaders balance clear direction with responsiveness.” They don’t overreact to environmental distractions but consider them carefully and if necessary – not by all means – move quickly then.

– Highlights only, this list is to be continued. For an in depth review read the full study, please. –

My opinion: there is just one more thing that is not fully addressed in this study – and that is:

In view of the excessive daily business – how do you mobilize and emotionalize your company leaders, key players and even the many contributors to regard your strategy as rewarding, beneficial, even sexy?

My – maybe counterintuitive – answer is: Make yourself as Top Executive relevant to them. I am talking about relationship building, to go to the place where the strategy is implemented, where your contributors tell you about strategic flaws, difficulties in implementation, missing ressources, limited time frames. Unless you are not encountering them, neither you count too much for them nor will your strategy.

Does Strategy Execution work without working on relationships intensively ? I don’t think so. But exactly this is where your strategy comes alive and can truly be regarded as a Living Thing. Because living things love to relate to one another.

You know where to go in your company. Just go there and enjoy!


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