策略執行為何失敗?該如何解決這問題?

Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It
瀏覽人數:2039


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75%的組織在執行策略時遭遇困難。觀看這份七分鐘的影音簡報,提高你成功執行策略的機率。

當調查問到全球執行長,他們最擔憂的是什麼,結果策略執行排在第一位,超越了創新、地緣政治不穩定和營收成長。難怪我們在執行上會碰到困難,因為有關策略執行的幾種普遍看法,都是錯的。讓我們來看看五項最具破壞性的迷思,它們導致組織浪費時間和資源在錯誤的議題上,而忽略了真正重要的事情。

這是第一個迷思。執行不順利時,主管往往以為問題出在「協同一致」,也就是把策略連結到組織所有層級的行動的流程,出了問題。但在大多數公司裡,協同一致沒有問題,而受誤導要去修復這個問題的行動,讓情況變得更糟。隨著主管追蹤愈來愈多指標,並不斷要求召開進度會議,員工開始覺得受到鉅細靡遺的管理。這會扼殺創意和協作,進一步拖累了執行。接著主管更努力處理協同一致的問題。這是最典型的每況愈下。如果協同一致不是問題,真正的問題是什麼?

那就是企業各部門之間無法協調:只有半數的主管表示,可以信賴其他部門與單位的同事會履行承諾。主管因此而出現許多功能失調的行為,例如沒有達成對顧客的承諾。若要改善執行,我們需要更好的系統來管理組織各部門。

第二個迷思是,良好的執行就是完全按照計畫去做。組織投入大量時間和精力,規畫誰應該做什麼,以及用什麼資源去做。但他們無法預料到每一件事。在波動的市場中,主管和員工都必須保持敏捷,而這並不容易。有時人們行動太慢,無法抓住機會,或阻止威脅。其他時候他們反應迅速,卻忽略了公司策略。

解決這個問題的關鍵,就是不斷重新分配資源。分配資金、人力和主管的關注,並不是一次性的決定。我們若是根據需求的變化而調整,就能更快放棄失敗的計畫,也更擅長跨部門調動人員,以支持策略優先事項。

但請注意,保持敏捷並不表示要尋求所有的機會。策略聚焦是關鍵。若不聚焦,資源就會用於錯誤的專案,而關鍵的計畫,也無法獲得大幅成功所需的資源。

現在來討論第三個迷思,那就是認為只要你談策略談得夠多,每個人就能了解你的策略。這裡有個驚人的統計數字:只有半數的長字輩高階主管表示,他們很了解自家公司各項策略優先事項如何互相配合。

隨著層級往下,情況變得更糟。當溝通到了團隊領導人和第一線主管時,只有16%的人自認很了解策略優先事項如何互相配合。其中一部分問題是,領導人關注訊息的數量,像是電子郵件和會議等的數量。如果他們改變訊息,而且因為一些不太重要的擔心事項,而稀釋了那些訊息,就會讓情況更令人困惑。

我們來看看某家科技公司的年度外地會議。高階領導人極力向出席的主管們溝通公司的策略。但他們介紹了11項企業優先要務,另外還有策略目標、一系列核心能力、一套企業價值觀,以及21個新的策略術語。也難怪那些主管很困惑,不知哪些事項才是重要的。

領導人不必擔心溝通的量,而應專注在協助員工明瞭他們傳達的內容。他們必須領導整個組織討論策略內容,以及策略對主管和他們團隊的意義。如果他們只談核心訊息,而且訊息內容簡單且一致,就可以避免許多誤解。通常,少即是多。

這引導到第四個迷思。執行失敗時,許多領導人認為應歸咎於績效文化薄弱。但大多數公司都很善於獎勵達成目標的員工。其實他們太著重績效,因此員工只打安全牌。員工行事保守,偏愛穩當的削減成本做法,而非有風險的成長,偏好從現有業務中獲利,而非嘗試新模式。所有這些行為都會破壞執行。

組織必須放遠眼光,不僅要「達成目標」。他們必須獎勵支持執行的行為,例如企圖心、敏捷、實驗和協作。如果為了達成績效而犧牲這些技能,就會適得其反。

有關執行的最後一個迷思是,應該從上而下推動執行。這會有問題,因為它無法鼓勵中階主管培養決策能力、展現主動,或負起責任創造成果。在從上而下的文化中,他們較傾向升高衝突,而非解決衝突,因此可能會喪失與其他部門同事一起解決問題的能力。

以賴利.包熙迪為例。他擔任聯合訊號公司執行長時,親自監督他之下好幾個層級主管的績效。他是典型的英雄式領導人,親自推動執行。這種方法有效,但只能持續一段時間。只要包熙迪掌舵,聯合訊號的股價表現就超越大盤。但他退休之後,公司股價就下跌。

來看看對執行很重要的許多決策和行動。這常牽涉到困難的權衡取捨。例如,與另一個單位的同事同步行動,可能會降低團隊的速度;或者根據策略來篩選顧客的請求,可能導致拒絕一些生意。最接近相關情況的領導人,最有資格做出這些困難的決定。執行應該由中階主管推動,並由最高層主管提供指導。高階領導人可提供協助,做法是親身示範團隊合作,以及增加一些系統來強化協調。

如果我們對於執行的信念有缺陷,導致了破壞性的模式,那麼需要改變什麼?一開始要先重新定義執行。把執行看成是「掌握策略機會,同時協調公司各部門,並視需要而調整」。以這種方式來建構執行,有助於我們避免一些錯誤,像是只獎勵績效,而沒有因應情況而調整。如此我們就更擅長去做能發揮成效的事情,包括協調、敏捷,以及重新分配資源給我們最重要的策略賭注。

(蘇偉信譯)


When global CEOs are surveyed about their biggest concerns, strategy execution tops the list—ahead of innovation, geopolitical instability, and top-line growth. It’s no wonder we wrestle with execution: Several common beliefs about it are just plain wrong. Let’s look at five of the most damaging myths that lead organizations to waste time and resources on the wrong issues—while ignoring the things that really matter.

Here’s the first myth. When execution falters, managers tend to assume there’s a problem with alignment—the processes linking strategy to action up and down the hierarchy. But in most companies, alignment isn’t broken, and misguided efforts to fix it make matters worse. As managers track more and more metrics and demand progress meeting after progress meeting, employees start to feel micromanaged. That stifles creativity and collaboration, putting even more of a drag on execution. Managers then press harder on alignment. It’s a classic downward spiral. If alignment isn’t the problem, what is?

It’s a failure to coordinate across the business: Only half of managers say they can count on colleagues in other functions and units to keep commitments. Managers compensate with a host of dysfunctional behaviors, such as letting promises to customers slip. To get better at execution, we need better systems for managing across the organization.

The second myth is that good execution means always sticking to the plan. Organizations spend huge amounts of time and energy mapping out who should do what and with what resources. But they can’t anticipate every event. In volatile markets, managers and employees need to be agile—and that’s not easy. Sometimes people move too slowly to seize opportunities or head off threats. Other times they react quickly but lose sight of company strategy.

The key to solving this problem is to keep reallocating resources. Dividing up funds, people, and managerial attention isn’t a one-time decision. If we make adjustments as needs change, we’ll be quicker to kill failing initiatives, and we’ll do better at shifting people across units to support strategic priorities.

A word of warning, though—Being agile doesn’t mean chasing every opportunity. Strategic focus is key. Without it, resources go to the wrong projects, and key initiatives don’t get what they need to win big.

Now let’s turn to the third myth—the idea that everyone will get your strategy if you talk about it enough. Here’s a sobering statistics: Just half of C-suite executives say they have a good sense of how their company’s strategic priorities fit together.

And matters are even worse further down the chain. When communications reach team leaders and frontline supervisors, only 16% feel that they have a good grasp of how priorities fit together. Part of the problem is that leaders focus on the quantity of messages—the numbers of emails, meetings, and so on. They add to the confusion by changing their messages and diluting them with peripheral concerns.

Consider what happened at one tech company’s annual off-site. Senior leaders went to great pains to communicate the company strategy to the managers in attendance. But they introduced 11 corporate priorities in addition to strategic objectives, a list of core competencies, a set of corporate values, and 21 new strategic terms. Not surprisingly, the managers were baffled about what mattered.

Instead of worrying about the amount of communication, leaders should focus on helping grasp what they’re saying. They need to lead discussions throughout the organization about what the strategy is and what it means for managers and their teams. They’ll head off a lot of misunderstanding if they stick with the core messages and keep them simple and consistent. Often, less is more.

This brings us to myth number four. When execution fails, many leaders think a weak performance culture is to blame. But most companies are good at rewarding employees who hit their numbers. If anything, they focus too much on performance, which makes people play it safe. Employees make conservative commitments, favor surefire cost cutting over risky growth, and milking existing businesses rather than try new models. All these behaviors undermine execution.

Organizations need to look beyond “hitting the numbers.” They need to reward behaviors that support execution—such as ambition, agility, experimentation, and collaboration. If performance comes at the expense of these skills, it’s counterproductive.

The final myth about execution is that it should be driven from the top. That’s a problem because it doesn’t encourage middle-managers to develop their decision-making skills, show initiatives, or own their results. In a top-down culture, they’re more inclined to escalate conflicts than to resolve them—so they may lose the ability to work things out with colleagues in other units.

Take this example from Larry Bossidy. As the CEO of AlliedSignal, he personally monitored the performance of managers several levels below him. He was the stereotypical heroic leader—driving execution himself. This approach can work—but only for a while. As long as Bossidy was at the helm, AlliedSignal’s stock outperformed the market. But when he retired, the stock fell.

Consider the many decisions and actions that are crucial to execution. They often involve hard trade-offs. For example, synching up with colleagues in another unit might slow a team down, or screening customer requests against strategy might mean turning away business. The leaders closest to the situation are the ones best qualified to make these tough calls. Execution should be driven from the middle—with guidance from the top. Senior leaders can help by modeling teamwork and adding systems to facilitate coordination.

If our beliefs about execution are flawed and lead to destructive patterns, what needs to change? The starting point is to redefine execution. Let’s view it as “seizing strategic opportunities while coordinating across the company and adjusting as needed.” Framing execution this way can help us avoid pitfalls like rewarding performance alone and failing to adapt. And we’ll get better at what really makes a difference—coordination, agility, and reallocating resources to our biggest strategic bets.



本篇文章主題策略執行