Strategic Execution

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The Importance of Strategy Execution

The article "Executive Strategy" written by Bruce Harreld discusses the aspect of strategy as it impacts on an organization but he focuses more on the execution rather than formation. This he explains is because there is a lot of literature and research work on strategy formation while strategy execution lacks the attention it deserves. To deliver on the article's objective, the author breaks it down into different groupings which are classified as reading essentials. They all tackle a different aspect of strategy executing and to further aid the reader to understand the points being discussed, there are case studies that reflect on the specific subject.

The Relationship Between Strategy Formation and Execution

Harreld's (2014) article not only discusses the relationship between strategy formation and execution but identifies how elements such as leadership styles, culture, and applicable frameworks can impact on the overall success of a strategy execution. There is the explanation as to which leadership styles ought to be implemented to clearly define the plan as well as the implementation process as this is one of the key foundations to achieving success. Harreld (2014) further defines organizational culture and the role it plays as far as execution of any form of strategy is concerned. According to Harreld (2014), culture can either hinder or foster strategy execution based on how weak or effective it is in communicating the objectives of an organization to not only its internal but external environment.

Frameworks for Strategy Execution

Lastly, the frameworks for executions are identified and discussed based on how each particular works. A great example is how Harreld outlines the use of balanced scorecard as it helps to foster performance management thus its applicability to strategy execution can be addressed based on the response it can help to record. From the reading, the three takeaway points that are important to an individual or business have to be organizational culture, leadership, and employee competence.

The Role of Culture and Leadership

As explained by Harreld (2014), culture plays a very critical role and as such, individuals and business need to understand that before executing a strategy, they need to align it with their culture to see if they are compatible. This should help to further outline all the necessary action to take as each should play a crucial part of the overall process. Furthermore, they need to understand that culture helps to "deliver on the promise or the design of an organizations business model" (Harreld, 2014) and thus should not be ignored. For leadership, individuals and business ought to understand how the style applicable to those in management can hinder or foster execution process. As such, they will in return advocate for styles that are more applicable not only to the strategy but the culture of the entire organization.

The Role of Employee Competence

In regards to the point of employees' competencies, it should be understood that it is they who will likely execute the strategy once the process is initiated. According to Harreld (2014), strategy formation is often the job of management who look into what needs to be achieved and how to go about it. Once these are outlined, it becomes the role of the employee to fully this and they do this through their skills and experiences. Therefore, understanding the expertise of employees is vital to strategy execution as they help with the implementation of critical tasks to achieve desired results. Therefore, it can be concluded that Harreld's article aligns all that is needed in order for effective strategy execution to be achieved within businesses.


Harreld, J.B. (2014). “Executing Strategy.”Harvard Business School

January 19, 2024


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Company Leadership

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