Harvard Business Review Press
June 1, 2010
It’s a fact: success in business goes to the swift. It’s about who can create the most value smarter and faster than the competition. Yet the majority of strategic initiatives fail to implement successfully and on time – even with streamlined processes in place, detailed graphs to chart the course, and plenty of resources on hand to get the job done. Why?
Jocelyn R. Davis, Henry M. Frechette, Junior, and Edwin H. Boswell argue that an exclusive focus on pace and process often leads to only superficial speed: lots of activity, but little forward motion. To achieve strategic speed – implementing strategies both quickly and well – leaders need to make people the key ingredient in their success formula. In Strategic Speed, the authors show how three people factors can provide a powerful accelerator for organizational speed and performance: clarity (understanding the goal), unity (cross-company collaboration), and agility (adapting quickly).
Using extensive global research and in-depth case studies of diverse companies, including Tata Sky, Vodafone, and Holiday Inn, the authors illustrate four critical leadership practices that put strategic speed in motion:
- Affirm strategies: Ensure everyone knows the destination wants to go there
- Drive initiatives: Create real momentum and behavioral change
- Manage climate: Increase confidence, motivation, and teamwork
- Cultivate experience: Harness employees’ insights and capture learning
Practical assessment tools show how to measure company and team speed, diagnose barriers that slow down execution, and choose specific actions to accelerate results.
From big change initiatives to everyday work projects, Strategic Speed will help you move past paying lip service to faster execution – and arm your people with the tools to make it really happen.
Jocelyn R. Davis, Henry M. Frechette, Junior, and Edwin H. Boswell are executives at The Forum Corporation. Forum is a global professional services firm that works with senior leaders to accelerate their critical business strategies.