If a company develops a good strategy but it fails, we can draw a conclusion. Management dropped the ball.

To paraphrase a quote by former President Harry S. Truman, “The buck stops here,” the buck stops with management.

Not to micromanage, but it’s important for management to be involved and to motivate the participants.

Well-worded strategies are nice. But they’re just a bunch of sentences until success is achieved.

After developing objectives and formulating tactics – before implementing strategy – management must assess the company’s ability to execute.

Only then should the footwork begin in execution.

One failure in execution stems from taking shortcuts.

An example: Management is too focused on monthly goals, but not on the necessary footwork to achieve them.

That means weaknesses aren’t solved or eliminated, such as the employees’ competence. Employees must be enthusiastic and own the processes leading to strong results.

It’s all about unlocking capacities for growth.

Along the way, companies must make a distinction: The differences among strategy, implementation and execution.


In strategic planning, there are at least eight questions to answer.

They include:

  1. On what does the company base its assumptions – internal and external factors?
  2. Realistically, why does it deserve to succeed?
  3. What qualities differentiate the company?
  4. In what sector should the company be?
  5. What are the target customers?
  6. What would be the company’s benefits from implementing strategies?
  7. What major changes are needed including a change in management?
  8. What fine-tuning is needed to insure the company delivers best on its value propositions?

If there’s any hesitancy in answering any of these questions, more thought needs to be given to them before proceeding.


In implementation, things aren’t always as they seem. There’s always change to consider and with which to cope. For instance, nothing stays the same with competitors, customers, regulation, technology and the need to innovate.

So companies must be able to adapt to close the schisms or gaps – between where companies are and their implemented strategies to attain goals.

Hence, quality implementation is needed. Because of the ever-changing dynamics facing the company, strategy and implementation go hand-in-hand and must be synchronized.


Execution is the footwork, or activities, you do to leverage the strategy and implementation – maximize it into the desired results.Defining Strategy, Implementation, and Execution

To succeed, companies must make certain all its participants aligned in the three functions of strategy, implementation and execution.

Productivity tactics

Once everyone is involved, here are three tactics in productivity to achieve your targets:

1. Manage programs continuously

You must do more than just announce strategy. Management should be actively oversee the processes, allay any employee fears or resistance to change and provide the necessary support and tools.

A frequent assessment is needed of what’s working and what isn’t. Make necessary changes.

2. Allow decision-makers to have autonomy

At this stage, you should already be confident in your team members. Your leaders should be allowed to make decisions even critical judgments to take action.

3. Keep an open mind

Allow for thought leadership among your crew. You must enable opinions and new actions when putting into action your plan. In the new economy, you must be prepared to let go of old ideas processes if they’re not ideal for your new approach.

Failure to employee these three tactics will put your strategy at-risk.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant sources of information:

Strategic Planning – Profit Lessons from Companies That Focus Long Term — To alleviate uncertainty in business and to grow profits, it’s increasingly clear that businesspeople must keep an open mind to seek opportunities, be bold and plan long term. In other words, companies that change their business models in order to become sustainable enjoy higher profits.

With Employees’ Help, 3 Strategies to Succeed with Your Strategic Plan — Have you developed your strategy? It’s important to proceed without engaging in self doubt. But you’re concerned about involving your employees? There are three closely related basics in working with your employees to get the job done.

For Top Sales, 5 Rules for Targeting the Right Prospects — If you target the right prospects, you’ll save time and money and increase your revenue. There are five rules to follow. They’re developed for B2B but work for B2C, too.

13 Strategies, Precautions When Expanding into a New Market — So you see opportunities by expanding into a new market. Whether you’re expanding across town or into a different region, there are risks to anticipate in alleviating any uncertainty. Even it doesn’t seem risky, due diligence is required and certain precautions are imperative for success.

“Guessing what the pitcher is going to throw is 80% of being a successful hitter. The other 20% is just execution.”

-Hank Aaron 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.