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Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change, 2nd Edition

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Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change, 2nd Edition

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Why execution is as important as strategy and the breakthrough framework for turning strategy into action. 

  • By one of the world's leading experts in leadership, business strategy and change management
  • Beyond just 'war stories': gives detailed start-to-finish case studies and integrated solutions for making strategy work
  • New chapters address project management’s role in making strategy work, how to execute on global strategies, and implementing strategy in service organizations


  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 528
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-309257-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-309257-8

Without effective execution, no business strategy can succeed. This second edition delivers a powerful framework every leader can use to overcome the obstacles to successfully deploying business strategy. In this book, leading consultant and Wharton professor Lawrence Hrebiniak offers a 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. 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. With three new chapters, expanded coverage, and new examples, the Second Edition of this highly successful book is the definitive guide for turning strategy into action.

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Making Strategy Work: Execution Is the Key

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition     xxiii
Acknowledgments     xxv
Introduction to the First Edition     xxvii
Learning from Experience     xxviii
What You Need to Lead     xxviii
The Big Picture     xxviii
Effective Change Management     xxix
Applying What You Learn     xxix
The Bottom Line     xxx
On a Final Note     xxx
A Few Thanks     xxx

Chapter 1  Strategy Execution Is the Key     3
Execution Is a Key to Success     5
   Making Strategy Work Is More Difficult Than the Task of Strategy Making     6
   A Focus on Making Strategy Work Pays Major Dividends     8
   Managers Are Trained to Plan, Not Execute     9
   Let the “Grunts” Handle Execution     10
   Planning and Execution Are Interdependent     11
   Execution Takes Longer Than Formulation     14
   Execution Is a Process, Not an Action or Step     17
   Execution Involves More People Than Strategy Formulation     18
Additional Challenges and Obstacles to Successful Execution     19
   Wharton-Gartner Survey and Executive Education Data Collection . . . .20
The Results: Obstacles to Successful Strategy Execution     22
   Execution Outcomes     26
   The Execution Challenge     28
   Having a Model or Guidelines for Execution     29
   Strategy Is the Primary Driver     29
   Choosing an Organizational Structure     29
   Coordination and Information Sharing     30
   Clear Responsibility and Accountability     30
   The Power Structure     30
   Incentives, Controls, Feedback, and Adaptation     31
   The Right Culture     31
   Leadership     31
   Managing Change     32
   Applications and Special Topics     33
   The Next Step: Developing a Logical Approach to Execution Decisions and Actions     33
Summary     35
Endnotes     36
Chapter 2  Overview and Model: Making Strategy Work     37
Common Versus Unique Execution Solutions     38
A Need for Action     40
   A Model of Strategy Execution     41
   Corporate Strategy     43
   Corporate Strategy and Structure     45
   Need for Integration     50
   Executing Business Strategy     53
   “Demands” of Business Strategy    55
   Integrating Strategy and Short-Term Operating Objectives     56
   Incentives and Controls     61
   Incentives     63
   Controls     64
Another View of the Model of Strategy Execution     65
Context of Execution Decisions      67
   The Execution Context     68
   Managing Change     69
   Culture     69
   The Organizational Power Structure     70
   The Leadership Climate     71
   Need for a Disciplined Approach     72
Summary     73
Endnotes     74
Chapter 3  The Path to Successful Execution: Good Strategy Comes First     77
Is the Impact of Strategy Overrated?     78
Issue #1: The Need for Sound Planning and a Clear, Focused Strategy     80
   Corporate-Level Planning     81
   Corporate Strategy: Some Corporate Examples, Good and Bad     82
   Business Strategy     86
The Service Business     93
Issue #2: The Importance of Integrating Corporate and Business Strategies     95
   The Role of the Business Is Unclear     97
   Inappropriate Performance Metrics     98
   Battles Over Resource Allocations     99
   Assessments of Business Performance Create Additional Problems     99
   The Strategy Review     100
Issue #3: Thinking Short Term—The Need to Define and Communicate the Operational Components of Strategy     103
   Integrating Strategic and Short-Term Objectives     105
   Need for Measurable Objectives     106
Issue #4: Understanding the “Demands” of Strategy and Successful Execution     108
   Low-Cost Producer     109
   Differentiation Strategies     111
   Developing the Right Capabilities     112
   The Demands of Global Strategy     115
   A Final Point     116
Summary    117
Endnotes     118
Chapter 4  Organizational Structure and Execution     119
The Challenge of Structural Choice     120
   Johnson & Johnson     120
   Citibank, ABB, and Other Large Global Players     122
   Service Organizations and Nonprofits     123
The Critical Structural Issues     124
   Structural Issue #1: Measuring Costs and Benefits of Structure     126
   Structural Issue #2: Centralization Versus Decentralization     131
   Structural Issue #3: The Strategy-Structure Relationship and Effective Execution     144
Summary     157
Endnotes     160
Chapter 5  Managing Integration: Effective Coordination and Information Sharing     163
The Importance of Integration    165
   Boeing     165
   Hewlett-Packard     165
   General Motors     166
   Royal Dutch/Shell Group     167
   Law Firms and Integration     168
Interdependence and Coordination Methods     169
   Types of Interdependence     169
   Coordination Processes and Methods     174
   The GE “Work Out”     178
Facilitating Information Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, and Communication     181
   Creating, Using, and Sharing Knowledge     181
   Methods, Tools, or Processes for Information Sharing     184
   Informal Forces and Information Sharing     187
   Additional Informal Factors Affecting Information Flow and Knowledge Transfer     190
Clarifying Responsibility and Accountability     197
Responsibility Plotting and Role Negotiation     198
Summary     202
Endnotes     204
Chapter 6  Incentives and Controls: Supporting and Reinforcing Execution     207
Role of Incentives and Controls     208
Incentives and Execution     209
   A Basic Rule: Don’t Demotivate People     209
   Good Incentives     210
   Reward the Right Things     214
Controls: Feedback, Learning, and Adaptation     216
   The Control Process     216
   Develop and Use Good Objectives     221
   Controls Require Timely and Valid Information     222
   Use and Act on the Information     223
   Face the Brutal Facts Honestly     225
   Reward the Doers, the Performers     226
   Reward Cooperation     227
   Clarify Responsibility and Accountability     228
   Leadership, Controls, and Execution     229
The Strategy Review: Integrating Planning, Execution, and Control     232
   Step 1: Strategy Formulation     234
   Step 2: The Execution Plan     238
   Step 3: Initiating the Control Process     239
   Step 4: Cause-Effect Analysis and Organizational Learning     240
   Step 5: Feedback and Change     241
   Step 6: Follow Up and Continue the Process     242
Summary     243
Endnotes     245
Chapter 7  Managing Change     247
Managing Change: A Continuing Challenge     247
Steps in Managing Change     251
A Model of Change and Execution      253
   Components of the Model     253
   Relating Change to Execution Problems     255
   Sequential Change     260
   Complex Change     266
   Other Factors Affecting Change     278
Summary     278
Endnotes     280
Chapter 8  Managing Culture and Culture Change     283
What Is Culture?     284
   Culture Is Important for Execution     285
   Culture Is Not Homogeneous     286
   Culture Affects Performance     286
   Organizational Performance Affects Culture     289
A Model of Culture and Cultural Change     291
   The Top Line: The Effects of Culture     291
   The Bottom Line: Changing Culture     295
Summary     309
   Rule 1: The Reasons for Change Must Be Clear, Compelling, and Agreed Upon by Key Players     309
   Rule 2: Focus on Changing Behavior—Not Directly on Changing Culture     310
   Rule 3: Effective Communication Is Vital to Culture Change     310
   Rule 4: Adequate Effort Must Be Expanded to Reduce Resistance to Change     310
   Rule 5: Beware of Excessive Speed     310
Endnotes     311
Chapter 9  Power, Influence, and Execution     313
A View of Power and Influence     315
   Strategy and Environment     316
   Problems or Dependencies     317
   Organizational Structure     318
   Uneven Resource Allocations     319
   Internal Dependencies and Power     320
   Using Power and Influence     322
   Coming Full Circle: Conclusions About Power     325
Power and Execution     325
   Define Power Bases and Relationships     326
   Form Coalitions or Develop Joint Ventures with Those in Power     328
   Focus on Value-Added, Measurable Results     329
   A Final Note on Power: The Downside     336
Summary     343
Endnotes     344

Chapter 10  Making Mergers and Acquisitions Work     349
Making Merger and Acquisition Strategies Work     350
   Why Focus on Mergers and Acquisitions?     350
   Why Do So Many Mergers and Acquisitions Fail or Founder?     355
Using the Present Model and Approach to Execution     360
   Corporate Strategy     360
   Corporate Structure     363
   Cultural Integration in M&A     367
   Business Strategy and Short-Term Objectives     373
   Business Structure/Integration     377
   Project Management     378
   Incentives and Controls     379
Managing Change     383
Managing Culture and Culture Change     387
The Critical Role of Leadership     391
Summary     392
Endnotes     394
Chapter 11  Making Global Strategy Work     397
Types of Global Growth and Execution Decisions     399
   Early or Basic International Presence     399
   The Multidomestic Global Organization     400
   The Coordinated Global Strategy     405
   Strategic Alliances     410
Summary     414
Endnotes     415
Chapter 12  Executing Strategy in Service Organizations     417
Similarities: Executing Strategy in Service Businesses     419
   Strategy     419
   Organizational Structure     422
   Talent, Capabilities, and Need for Training/Skill Development Programs     424
   Incentives and Controls     426
   The Logical Conclusion?     427
Service Businesses: Possible Differences Affecting Strategy Execution     428
   Production and Consumption of Services     428
   Are Services Personal?     429
   The Measurement Issue     430
Categories or Types of Service Organizations     432
   Definition of Goals and Strategies     434
   Professional Versus Administrative Controls     436
   Knowledge and Power     438
   Conclusion: A Difficult Setting for Strategy Execution     439
Strategy Execution in People-Based Professional Service Organizations     440
   The Setting for Action: A Case of Reciprocal Interdependence     440
   Deciding on Strategy and Goals     442
   Defining Measurement Metrics and Cause-Effect Clarity     444
   Structure and Coordination Processes     446
   Effective Incentives     448
   The Verdict: Execution in People-Based, Professional Service Organizations     449
Summary: Strategy Execution in Service Organizations     451
Endnotes     454
Chapter 13  Project Management and Strategy Execution     457
Possible Benefits of a Project Management Approach     458
An Example: Project Management and Making Strategy Work     460
   Defining the Projects and Key Objectives     461
Potential Pitfalls with Project Management     466
   Degree of Formality     466
   Tension Between Routine and Autonomy     468
   Managing Culture and Change     469
   Evidence of Value Added     469
Summary     471
Endnotes     472
Appendix     473
Index     479


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