I came across an interesting blog post here that posed the general question about whether change management and strategy implementation are an "either / or" situation i.e. are they mutually exclusive or do they best exist hand in glove.
There was a lot of resonance for me here for two key reason:
1) it's long been clear to me that the real race for organisations is not who can build the best strategy, but who can actually execute and sustain it - and so absolutely it's about strategy implementation in the final analysis.
2) However, it’s also about change management (as I understand the description here), because without people, the resistance management and the engagement strategies, then there is no commitment and ultimately no implementation.
Of course there can still be installation, leaders can declare victory. But go back in 9 months to start to measure benefits, and in 8 out of 10 cases, we would be back to working in the old ways.
The upshot? Definitely strategy implementation for me - assuming we have a working definition that implementation = install + commitment and behaviour change! I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.