Over the past ten years, I’ve led dozens of simulation-based workshops focused on executing strategy. I’ve learned much from the hundreds of students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned – and one universal truth – that is common among the many companies with whom I’ve worked, it’s that there are “more good ideas than resources available to pursue them.”
CHALLENGE: To accelerate its discussion of corporate strategy, a global industrial manufacturing leader engaged IE to embed a half-day, simulation-based learning experience into its annual leadership forum for the top 100+ executives.
If you have ever seen the “Changing of the Guard” at Buckingham Palace in London, you know that it is executed with detailed precision; all body parts moving in complete synchronicity. In spite of its great entertainment value, this popular ceremony is more than a global tourist attraction. It is part of a centuries’ old process that requires years of training, discipline, and focus.
Often leaders in a matrix organization are working with people from very different parts of the organization to focus on a common initiative. A group of talented colleagues may have the requisite collection of skills, but likely also bring competing projects and deadlines from various leaders within the organization.
Managing through business cycles – and there are many types of them – challenges even the most seasoned leaders. Responding to or anticipating market changes can require bold and risky decision-making with potentially profound consequences. A leader’s first exposure to market volatility can be challenging, unsettling and wrought with mistakes. But what if you could practice reacting to and managing through market swings before you are subjected to them in real life?
Markets and customers are rapidly evolving in the financial services industry. With a business imperative to stay relevant and competitive, leaders are challenged to make day-to-day decisions that will align with the strategy and drive business results. A clear strategy doesn’t mean an inflexible one. Quite the opposite. Clarity enhances flexibility – a concept that is counter-intuitive and yet easily understood after experience and reflection.
We see the same mistakes over and over again. Strategy execution is challenging but leaders often make it even tougher. In our work with global leaders and their teams, we see repeated, universal strategy execution missteps that leaders should learn to recognize and avoid.