Is hierarchy damaging your change strategy execution?

Posted by Anne-Lise MacKenzie on Aug 13, 2010

In July’s Newsletter, I referred to research carried out by Harvard Business Review on change strategy execution. I couldn’t link to it at the time because it wasn’t live, so here it is, Hierachy can hurt strategy execution.

The top 4 survey findings are:

  1. the biggest execution challenge is making strategy meaningful to staff
  2. people don’t know that their firm’s strategy is
  3. strategy development is still very much a top down process
  4. those involved in developing the strategy are more likely to be bought in

The survey confirms what we all know; clear and meaningful communication still falls short of what is acceptable, and continues to be a barrier to successful strategy execution. The survey also suggests that leaders should be thinking about strategy formulation from the bottom-up. This is perhaps the most interesting and challenging aspect of the survey.

Bottom up strategies can work, providing there is sufficient top level sponsorship. However, top down provides the rigidity and focus. I don’t think there is a right answer here. However, the survey suggests that strategy execution can be more easily achieved through creating a more inclusive environment.

What are your experiences?

You might also be interested in these articles:

4 qualities of a successful change communications strategy

How well do you know your change communications audience?

Tags: Change Management, change communications, change management execution, change strategy, Communication, disruptive improvisation, harvard business review, Organisational Change, staff engagement, Strategic implementation, strategy execution

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