Execution Is the Strategy

Execution Is the Strategy by Laura Stack is a how-to manual for business leaders that will guide them as they develop their organizations and employees into becoming efficient and capable in today’s rapidly changing business world. The book uses the acronym LEAD and many others to teach easy-to-understand and replicable changes in organizational philosophy and culture that will help provide businesses with an edge.

Companies must be able to respond and adapt nimbly to rapid change in order to survive. Resisting or denying inevitable change will only cause more difficulties. By accepting change, teams can take a fearless, creative approach to problem solving. This ability is like a muscle–the more it gets used, the stronger it becomes. Companies can do this by being alert and aware, embracing change when it does come, and always continuing to move forward. They can also inspire the right attitude about change by focusing on the benefits, reframing challenges or opportunities, and phasing changes in gradually.

It is a good idea for businesses to encourage creative, innovative atmospheres as a way to improve acceptance to change. This involves promoting positive incentives for fresh ideas rather than negative penalties for ideas that do not work. The willingness to take risks is sadly under-encouraged these days; however, innovation is impossible without some degree of risk. In fact, many times employees report that risk taking is not encouraged or praised at their offices, or, even worse, is absolutely discouraged. These businesses often discourage innovation because they are not flexible enough to bounce back from new ideas that do not work. A flexible team must not only recover from mistakes quickly to try again, it must prepare better and react faster to unanticipated change.

According to Stack:

  • Strategy and tactics have an inherent relationship as part of the same over-arching process.
  • Strategy must be more flexible, fluid, and agile than ever before because of the modern rate of change.
  • Today’s rate of change also means that strategies must be executed more quickly than in the past.
  • Even with a fast and fluid execution, a strategy is worthless unless it is strong and appropriate.
  • Leaders in today’s businesses rely on their team members more than ever to execute their organizations’ objectives.
  • The acronym LEAD defines the four keys to efficient strategic execution: Leverage, Environment, Alignment, and Drive. Each of these four keys has an associated leadership role as well as its own development opportunity.

Execution Is the Strategy by Laura Stack consists of 12 chapters divided into four broad “Keys to Success.” These are intended to be read in order but are broken up in a way that makes them easy to refer back to. There are useful extras including endnotes, visual aids, and an extensive self-assessment test. This book was written for people in leadership roles in business and would be of limited use to workers on the front lines.

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