VIDEO: Behavior in Strategy Implementation

June 15, 2015
Strategy. Grand thoughts. Detailed market analysis. Huge capital decisions. And behavioral change. In the end and most importantly, behavioral change.

This newsletter and the accompanying video concerns the central importance of behavioral change to strategy implementation.

Summer provides a great opportunity for many of us to recharge.   Whether your recharging translates into more exercise, travel, spending time with family and friends or simply relaxing, the process requires each of you to make behavioral changes. That’s implementation.

So too with strategy implementation at work. To ‘get it done’, to execute on the strategy, requires people acting differently. To get that to happen in any organization, especially in medium and large organizations, requires systematizing implementation. That does not mean simply launching a slew of projects. Projects get done. Boxes get checked. And yet somehow all too often the strategic change doesn’t happen and certainly doesn’t stick.

My Wharton Digital Press book with Cassie Solomon, Leading Successful Change, presents a copyrighted model, The Work Systems Model, and guidance on how to make change work. Our combined 50+ years of experience with change lead to following: change is about the behavior and making the behavior make sense.

Making the behavior make sense turns on being able to conceptualize scenes such as, ‘this strategy successfully implemented would mean that the field and HQ would have exchanges like…’ or ‘our SBU’s would handle cross-selling opportunities such as…’ Be a playwright. Don’t stop at platitudes like ‘cross unit collaboration’ or ‘enhanced responsiveness to unanticipated customer requests’. Successful strategy implementation would yield which people in what roles acting in what way? Ultimately, that’s the strategy implemented. It’s behavior.

To get that behavior to occur reliably necessitates creating a work environment that will make the sought after  behavior make sense. People figure out their environment and they adapt. At work, that environment has aspects such as org charts, work tools, physical space, information, protocols, training, rewards, metrics, and decision making roles.   Leading Successful Change delineates these aspects and the need to change them to foster desired change, whether that’s fitbit use or changing an emergency room or Lloyd’s of London.

Strategy for yourself or for your organization comes down to the same thing: behavior and setting up a world that makes the desired behavior make sense.

The video emphasizes the importance of identifying what behaviors need to change to implement strategy. I hope that you find it useful and that it in no way intrudes upon your beach time.

Behavior in strategy implementation