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Strategy Execution Processes: What We Know Now About Leadership Training

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin

Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin is editor-in-chief for PM Solutions Research, and the author, co-author and editor of over twenty books on project management, including the 2007 PMI Literature Award winner, The AMA Handbook of Project Management, Second Edition.

Our newest research study, the Strategy Execution Process Benchmark, has not been formally released yet, but in comparing some of the data it contains about training and development to PM College's 2015 Project Manager Skills Benchmark, I found a couple of interesting things that I thought were worth sharing right away.

First of all, the bad news: there's little employee engagement or motivation around executing strategy in most of the companies responding to the survey.  And that's not surprising, because even  executives with strategy execution skills are lacking at nearly half of the companies in the survey (this isn't an anomaly, either: see my blog on a similar finding in a pwc study).

The companies in the study seem to know what they need—they identified the top 5 strategic skills of executives and managers as:

  1. Displays understanding of the marketplace and competition
  2. Possesses business acumen
  3. Holds a strategic perspective
  4. Ensures that customer needs are met and well served
  5. Clearly communicates the organization's strategy

 ... however, they seem to fail at either acquiring the right talent, or inculcating the right skills.

The good news is that, when companies invest in training their staff in leadership and change management as well as project management, their scores in all areas go up. The companies that score as "high-performers" have executives whose strategy execution skills score 4.08 on a 5-point scale.

Like project management, strategy execution isn't rocket science. But most companies have not focused on implementing processes and developing talent focused on delivering strategic value. Isn't it time for that to change?

The full report will be published in the next few weeks. Sign up for our newsletter to get a heads-up!

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