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Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change

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Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change

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Make Strategy Work by implementation!

  • Creating strategy doesn't cut it.  Learn how to implement it.
  • Why execution is as important as strategy development.
  • Beyond just 'war stories': gives detailed start-to-finish case studies and integrated solutions for making strategy work.

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You are invited to listen to the Thomas Group’s panel discussion on making strategy work from a Retail perspective. The discussion was built around Dr. Hrebiniak’s recently released book, Making Strategy Work.


  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-146745-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-146745-3

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, leading consultant and Wharton professor Lawrence Hrebiniak offers the first comprehensive, disciplined process model for making strategy work in the real world. Drawing on his unsurpassed experience, 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. Next, 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 your business. Making Strategy Work concludes with a start-to-finish case study showing how to use Hrebeniak's ideas to address one of today's most difficult business execution challenges: ensuring the success of a merger or acquisition.

Sample Content

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Business Strategy: Execution Is the Key

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Sample Chapter - 118 KB -- Chapter 1: Strategy Execution Is the Key

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Table of Contents


1. Strategy Execution Is the Key.

    Execution Is a Key to Success

    Making Strategy Work Is More Difficult Than the Task of Strategy Making

    Sound Execution Is Critical-A Focus on Making Strategy Work Pays Major Dividends

    Managers Are Trained to Plan, Not Execute

    Let the "Grunts" Handle Execution

    Planning and Execution Are Interdependent

    Execution Takes Longer Than Formulation

    Execution Is a Process, Not an Action or Step

    Execution Involves More People Than Strategy  Formulation Does

    Additional Challenges and Obstacles to  Successful Execution

    Wharton-Gartner Survey

    Wharton Executive Education Survey

    Panel Discussions

    The Results: Opinions About Successful  Strategy Execution

    Poor Execution Outcomes

    Making Sense of the Data and Going Forward

    The Execution Challenge

    Having a Model or Guidelines for Execution

    Strategy is the Primary Driver

    Managing Change

    The Power Structure

    Coordination and Information Sharing

    Clear Responsibility and Accountability

    The Right Culture


    Controls, Feedback, and Adaptation

    The Next Step: Developing a Logical Approach to Execution     Decisions  and Actions



2. Overview and Model: Making Strategy Work.

    Common vs. Unique Execution Solutions

    A Need for Action

    A Model of Strategy Execution

    Corporate Strategy

    Corporate Structure

    Need for Integration

    Executing Business Strategy

     "Demands" of Business Strategy

    Integrating Strategy and Short-term Operating Objectives

    Incentives and Controls



    Context of Execution Decisions

    The Execution Context

    Managing Change


    The Organizational Power Structure

    The Leadership Climate

    Need for a Disciplined Approach



3. The Path to Successful Execution: Good Strategy Comes First.

    Is the Impact of Strategy Overrated?

    Issue #1: The Need for Sound Planning and a Clear, Focused Strategy

    Corporate-Level Planning

    AT&T: Bad Corporate Strategy? 

    Business Strategy

    Issue #2: The Importance of Integrating Corporate and Business Strategies

    The Role of the Business Is Unclear

    Inappropriate Performance Metrics

    Battles Over Resource Allocations

    Assessments of Business Performance Create Additional Problems

    The Strategy Review

    Issue #3: The Need to Define and Communicate the Operational Components of Strategy

    Integrating Strategic and Short-Term Objectives

    Need for Measurable Objectives 

    Issue #4: Understanding the "Demands" of Strategy and Successful Execution

    Low-Cost Producer

    Differentiation Strategies

    Developing the Right Capabilities

    The Demands of Global Strategy

    A Final Point



4. Organizational Structure and Execution.

    The Challenge of Structural Choice

    General Motors

    Johnson & Johnson

    Citibank and ABB

    The Critical Structural Issues

    Structural Issue #1: Measuring Costs and Benefits  of Structure

    Structural Issue #2: Centralization vs. Decentralization

    Structural Issue #3: The Strategy-Structure-Performance Relationship



5. Managing Integration: Effective Coordination and Information Sharing.

    The Importance of Integration


    Royal Dutch/Shell Group

    Dell Computers

    Interdependence and Coordination Methods

    Types of Interdependence

    Coordination Processes and Methods

    The GE "Work Out"

    Facilitating Information Sharing, Knowledge Transfer,  and Communication

    Creating, Using, and Sharing Knowledge

    Methods, Tools, or Processes for Information Sharing

    Informal Forces and Information Sharing

    Additional Informal Factors Affecting Information Flow and Knowledge Transfer

    Clarifying Responsibility and Accountability

    Responsibility Plotting and Role Negotiation



6. Incentives and Controls: Supporting and Reinforcing Execution.

    Role of Incentives and Controls

    Incentives and Execution

    A Basic Rule: Don't Demotivate People

    Good Incentives

    Reward the Right Things

    Controls: Feedback, Learning, and Adaptation

    The Control Process

    Develop and Use Good Objectives

    Reward the Doers, the Performers

    Face the Brutal Facts Honestly

    Reward Cooperation

    Clarify Responsibility and Accountability

    Controls Require Timely and Valid Information

    Leadership, Controls, and Execution

    The Strategy Review: Integrating Planning, Execution, and Control

    Step 1: Strategy Formulation

    Step 2: The Execution Plan

    Step 3: Initiating the Control Process

    Step 4: Cause-Effect Analysis and Organizational Learning

    Step 5: Feedback and Change

    Step 6: Follow Up and Continue the Process



7. Managing Change.

    Managing Change: A Continuing Challenge

    Steps in Managing Change

    A Model of Change and Execution

    Components of the Model

    Relating Change to Execution Problems

    Sequential Change

    Complex Change

    Other Factors Affecting Change



8. Managing Culture and Culture Change.

    What Is Culture?

    Culture is Important for Execution 

    Culture is Not Homogeneous 

    Culture Affects Performance

    Organizational Performance Affects Culture 

    A Model of Culture and Cultural Change

    The Top Line: The Effects of Culture

    The Bottom Line: Changing Culture


    Rule 1: The Reasons for Change Must Be Clear, Compelling, and Agreed Upon By Key Players

    Rule 2: Focus on Changing Behavior-Not Directly on Changing Culture

    Rule 3: Effective Communication is Vital to Culture Change

    Rule 4: Adequate Effort Must Be Expanded to Reduce Resistance to Change

    Rule 5: Beware of Excessive Speed


9. Power, Influence, and Execution.

    A View of Power and Influence

    Strategy and Environment

    Problems or Dependencies

    Organizational Structure

    Uneven Resource Allocations

    Internal Dependencies and Power

    Using Power and Influence

    Coming Full Circle: Conclusions About Power

    Power and Execution

    Define Power Bases and Relationships

    Form Coalitions or Develop Joint Ventures  with Those in Power

    Focus on Value-Added, Measurable Results

    A Final Note on Power: The Downside



10. Summary and Application: Making Mergers and Acquisitions Work.

    Making Merger and Acquisition Strategies Work

    Why Focus on Mergers and Acquisitions?

    Why Do So Many Mergers and Acquisitions Fail or Founder?

    Using the Present Model and Approach to Execution

    Corporate Strategy

    Corporate Structure

    Cultural Integration in M&A

    Business Strategy and Short-Term Objectives

    Business Structure/Integration

    Incentives and Controls

    Managing Change

    Managing Culture and Culture Change

    The Critical Role of Leadership






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