Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change. Lawrence G. Hrebiniak. FT Press.

Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change Book Cover Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change
Lawrence G. Hrebiniak
FT Press
January 15, 2005

Formulating strategy is one thing. Executing it throughout the entire organization… well, that’s the really hard part. Without effective execution, no business strategy can succeed. Unfortunately, most managers know far more about developing strategy than about executing it – and overcoming the difficult political and organizational obstacles that stand in their way. In this book, Larry Hrebiniak offers a comprehensive, disciplined process model for making strategy work in the real world.

Hrebiniak shows why execution  is even more important than many senior executives realize, and sheds powerful new light on why businesses fail to deliver on even their most promising strategies. He offers a systematic roadmap for execution that encompasses every key success factor: organizational structure, coordination, information sharing, incentives, controls, change management, culture, and the role of power and influence in the execution process.

Making Strategy Work concludes with a start-to-finish case study showing how to use Hrebiniak’s ideas to address one of today’s most difficult business execution challenges: ensuring the success of a merger or acquisition. The advice on making M&A strategies work justifies the addition of this book to any execution toolkit.

  • Building the capabilities and culture you’ll need to execute – How to align your organization’s skills, resources, and culture around the strategies you’re pursuing
  • Integrating long-term strategy with short-term operations – Why managing the short-term is critical to the success of long-term strategy
  • Ensuring robust coordination… up, down, and sideways – Effective information sharing and cooperation: bringing coherence and focus to execution
  • Managing change, including culture change – Avoiding “speed traps, close quote resistance, and other change-related problems that hurt execution

Lawrence G. Hrebiniak, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Wharton faculty since 1976 and currently teaches courses in competitive strategy and strategy implementation in the Wharton MBA and Executive Education programs. He held managerial positions in the automobile industry prior to entering academia, and is a past president of the Organization Theory Division of the Academy of Management. For over two years, he was one of five Wharton faculty members providing commentaries on the Wharton Management Report, a daily TV program on the Financial News Network.

His consulting activities in executive development programs focus on strategy execution, the formulation of strategy, and organizational design – both inside and outside the U.S. Dr. Hrebiniak’s clients have included Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Chemical Bank, Isuzu, Dun & Bradstreet, DuPont, the Social Security Administration, First American Bankshares, General Motors, Chase Manhattan, Studio Ambrosetti, Microsoft, Aventis, and GE.

Dr. Hrebiniak’s current research is concerned primarily with strategy execution and organizational design. He is also interested in strategic adaptation as organizations manage change and execution efforts over time to remain competitive. He co-authored Implementing Strategy (PHPTR 1984) and authored The We-Force in Management (Jossey Bass, Inc. 1994), two other books, and numerous articles in professional journals.