How Values Drive Strategy

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The planning season is upon us. Visions and missions are being reconsidered. New goals and objectives are being determined. Strategies and action plans are being developed to achieve those goals.

When the planning turns to strategy execution, in addition to determining action steps, success metrics and the allocation of resources, it can be beneficial to consider the company’s commitment to executing a given strategy.

Changing circumstances ensure that few strategies survive without adaptation and perseverance. The will to be agile in strategy execution tests an organization’s leadership and culture, challenging the purpose and core values that guide its operation.

Will the values that define a company’s culture, that have strengthened the human connections within its community and with other stakeholders, enable or constrain strategy implementation?
At its core, strategy execution is a change management issue. People chose to collaborate in implementing a strategy if they have a clear understanding about its projected benefits for the company, if they believe that these benefits align with their culture, and if they believe that they can make a difference in its implementation.

The behaviors exhibited within a business define its values in action.  Are the results of those behaviors quantifiable? What specific outcomes have values like customer satisfaction, initiative, innovation and collaboration delivered for the business? 

The consistency with which behaviors are demonstrated reveals how deeply a company’s values are embedded into its culture. When strategy execution and goal achievement are evaluated, is the impact on performance by values and behaviors considered?

A company’s culture is a critical element in successful strategy execution.

How consistently do your strategy discussions address the impact of your culture on execution?

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