Executing Strategy

3 Steps for Communicating Strategic Execution

Often, great strategy doesn’t get translated throughout the company the way the executive team envisioned.

The result is confusion, irritation, rework of initiatives due to unintentional lack of alignment with strategic goals, reduced profit due to wasted time and effort, cross functional infighting, and competitors who move faster than you do.

To solve these problems, use the three steps below. Integrating these into your business will increase your tactical management team’s understanding of your executive team’s strategic intentions. This means that what the customer ultimately experiences will be exactly what you need to grow your business.

Embed these three actionable steps when readying the strategic plan for sharing:

1. Embed expectations into your strategic elements. Don’t make your employees and managers guess what you want to achieve; tell them. The trick is telling them the boundary conditions and strategic metrics that need to be met while not dictating how to do the activity. Let those who deal with the everyday processes, customers, policies, etc. figure out the best way to do something. They just need to know what you expect.

2. Tell the teams the how proposed projects, initiatives, and activities will be reviewed. Hold tough discussions with your entire executive team to determine how all projects and proposals brought forth will be reviewed and how those items will be ranked. While this takes time at the executive level, it streamlines the resulting proposal review process since everyone in the company understands what is important, how proposals will be prioritized, and what strategic items, such as KPIs, must be met. Everyone now knows how you will judge proposed work and what the company is focused on. Less waste, more performance.

3. Integrate executive champions in your strategic platforms. Strategic platforms are the large concepts that the executive team wants built to be more competitive, grow faster, and increase profits. These are cross functional by definition, thus helping to remove functional silo mentality from the strategic plan on. By determining and publicizing up front which executive team member will perform as the executive champion in what strategic area, your tactical team doesn’t have to guess who to talk to. If it’s important enough to be in your strategy, it’s important enough to have an executive champion. The champion meets with the teams, brings the ideas to the executive team to coordinate, align, and innovate with other ideas/proposals and your strategic plan from the get-go.

The extra up front time to do these steps in executive sessions enables greater return on executive investment because what comes to the executive team for review is aligned with the strategic plan. No sending back for rework or waiting for someone else to “get it”.

Try it and tell me what results you’ve experienced.

Keywords: strategy, strategic execution, metrics, KPIs, communication, alignment, executive champion

About the author: Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky with Process & Strategy consults with and provides training for organizations eager to increase their competitive value by helping enable growth, align performance, make and move product (even when the product is a serving of electrons). She has been invited to teach SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference model) in Baton Rouge this October. SCOR is the framework Fortune 500 companies use to increase their agility.

Artwork; sculpture: Personifications of Trust and Industry in a Landscape [reverse], 1900, Louis-Oscar Roty, National Gallery of Art, Gift of David and Constance Yates

Louis-Oscar Roty

Artist Info
French, 1846 – 1911

Personifications of Trust and Industry in a Landscape [reverse]




Gift of David and Constance Yates

Accession No.

Direct Digital Capture

Image Use
Open Access


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