Smart Leaders Focus on Action, Then Strategy!

Useful tips to consider for success in strategy implementation: Question everything. Inform everyone first, then empower champions. Tighten relationships and loosen the rules.

Smart Leaders Focus on Action, Then Strategy!

1- Question everything.

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 with service provider AT&T, Telecom giant Verizon also decided to launch its own smartphone. The company knew it needed to act quickly, so senior management quickly began to make assumptions about how to operate. Instead of doing it on their own, they worked with Google and Motorola. Instead of a "we know better" approach, they took advantage of their partnership's capacities and common data. They worked on all fronts simultaneously, rather than waiting for all the stages that had to be completed to move on to the next stage. They created a great product in a limited time, just in time, they launched the product in the summer of 2009. For 2 months after the presentation, Droid's sales surpassed iPhone sales. Verizon, of course, could not change its strategy so quickly and successfully if it had not questioned and addressed its traditional organizational structure.

2- First inform everyone, then authorize the champions.

Excellent management competence requires a broad vision and depth. Big strategies need local options. Successfully implementing a bank's new strategy in a country with high environmental awareness, where the company positions itself in an environmentally friendly position, the CEO initiated an inclusive awareness program for all employees. Thus, all employees became aware of the new strategy in their company and the company was able to benefit from the creative ideas of the employees on the subject. But later on, the CEO began to focus on volunteer champions who took a step forward with their innovative vision of the company's products and customer relationships. He did not try to transform those who were skeptical about the matter, to ensure that each employee reacted to the relevant strategy at exactly the same level, to decide which individual innovative ideas were worth considering. Instead it started a snowballing process. Champions' gains have turned into success stories, and these success stories have helped other employees adapt to the new strategy or create their own innovative ideas.

3- Tighten relations and loosen the rules.

Visionary leaders also use other people's eyes so they can see further. This means that such leaders maintain close contact and communication with the players at their disposal, similar to how a soccer coach stays in touch with players throughout the game. Recently, the top management of a company operating in more than one area had launched its new company strategy with strict, regulated processes. However, as unexpected obstacles and financial adversities emerged in the company's first quarter report, they further reduced procedural controls on employees by creating close relationships with each other and with parties with whom they formed partnerships in pursuit of a common mission. As top management began to articulate common goals and take responsibility for how to operate in all relevant areas, they became able to overcome obstacles and create better ways to achieve their goals. Common goals brought people together. It was understood that the distance and anger towards the top management, the disconnections between the units under the top management were the factors that damaged the management competence of the company.

4- Adapt quickly.

Based on a comprehensive data analysis, David Kenny was appointed CEO of Weather Company, a private equity firm with the aim of bringing the company's TV channel to the digital platform. Kenny began to draw attention to the synergy between digital platforms and TV in the first place. Live meteorologists were expected to produce content for social media and other digital channels, while digital producers were making short videos that could be watched online on mobile devices or on television. These expectations were getting more and more difficult and annoying. At the same time, the differences between the two channels were also widening, as the demand for digital channels was increasing rapidly while the demand situation for television did not vary much. So instead of forcing both sides to put in double the effort, Kenny transformed each channel into two separate units. This move increased the performance of television and brought higher sales figures on digital channels. In other words, instead of sticking to an ineffective approach, the “try, test, learn and adapt” approach is often the most effective.

Strategy is often known as the process of making a literary effort to produce a text and conveying this text to the actors who will implement it, and these people fulfill what is written in this text. However, it would be more correct to compare the strategy to an improvised theater performance. A strategy is a phenomenon that is often shaped by the roles actors play in front of the audience to get feedback from them. Like the process of sequentially prototyping products in the technology sector, the strategy often starts with a comprehensive planning but takes its final form with the management experiences created one after the other. At this point, successful leaders are also people who avoid announcing their strategies without taking part of the road.

The greater the promise that has not yet been proven, the more severe the failure will be when the experienced regime of that promise does not exactly match the promise itself. Declaring the victory of a strategy on the day a strategy is offered to the public, giving magnificent poses where the company top management shakes hands with partners, an early award for product design or being proud of a company action that has not yet been received, in theory, partnerships that have not been established at the end, it may result in a sad picture of unsuccessful products or actions that have not been implemented, which customers refuse to buy.