In a world of stiffening competition, business strategy is more crucial than ever. Yet most companies struggle in this area – not with crafting strategy but with executing it.
Owing to execution failures, companies realise just a fraction of the financial performance promised in their strategic plans. It doesn’t have to be that way. Companies often confuse operational speed with strategic speed (i.e., reducing the time it takes to deliver value), and the two concepts are quite different. Simply increasing the pace of production, for example, may be one way to try to close the speed gap. But that often leads to decreased value over time, in the form of lower-quality products and services. Likewise, new initiatives that move fast may not deliver any value if time isn’t taken to identify and adjust the true value proposition. Simply increasing the pace of production often leads to decreased value over time.
High performing companies with strategic speed made alignment a priority. They became more open to ideas and discussion. They encouraged innovative thinking and next practices. And they allowed time to reflect and learn. By contrast, performance suffered at firms that moved fast all the time, focused too much on maximising efficiency, stuck to tested best practices, didn’t foster employee collaboration and weren’t concerned about alignment.
Large organisations are by nature complex, but over the years new business challenges, such as globalisation, innovative technologies and regulations, have conspired to add layer upon layer of complexity to corporate structure and management. Organisations have become increasingly ungovernable and unwieldy: Performance is declining, accountability is unclear, decision rights are muddy, and data are crunched repeatedly, often with no clear purpose in mind. And, complexities cost companies. To avoid frustration and inefficiency, executives need to systematically attack the causes of complexity in their companies. We help clients reduce complexities, build competitive and differentiating operational capabilities that deliver value while allowing companies to operate profitably and invest in the future.
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