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The strategist’s view needs to extend beyond planning to execution

Timothy J. Galpin (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 30 May 2023

Issue publication date: 6 June 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The Oxford Strategy Insights Project was designed to assess the current approaches, aims, and focus of strategists across industries and geographies.

Design/methodology/approach

The project received input from 167 executives and managers across twenty-six industries, spanning over thirty countries, regarding their firm’s strategy process.

Findings

The biggest gap highlighted by the Oxford Strategy Insights Project is effective strategy execution. An overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that their organization’s strategy execution efforts are ineffective and slow, with accelerated implementation being the exception rather than the norm. In line with these findings, few firms appear to be applying the best practice of establishing an implementation management infrastructure including a “Program Manager” tasked to manage and coordinate the firm’s strategy implementation effort. The one positive element related to strategy execution is that most firms seem to have an effective strategic measurement and reporting process.

Practical implications

Organizations that can execute their strategies increase the likelihood of realizing the full potential of their plans. However, the study’s main finding is that effective strategy execution is severely lacking. Strategists need to become more foresighted, with a much greater focus on implementation.

Originality/value

Although the value of effective strategy execution has been well documented for over five-decades in both academic and management practice literature, new research has found that most strategists are still short-sighted, viewing strategy as primarily planning with a limited focus on implementation.

Keywords

Citation

Galpin, T.J. (2023), "The strategist’s view needs to extend beyond planning to execution", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 51 No. 4, pp. 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1108/SL-04-2023-0038

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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