Strategy should drive business execution: discuss

You see lots of surveys about what are the next technology trends for 2011 or beyond. But I think what’s more interesting is: ‘What are the top trends for the CEO or COO?’ Clearly, at the top of their agenda is driving improved performance – whether you call that BPM or another acronym.

This requires a combination of things: Do we understand what we’re doing? Do we have a clear way of defining our strategy and communicating it? Do we have a clear understanding of what our business processes are from the top all the way down to the bottom of the organization?

It’s great being the CEO and saying ‘I want to be more customer focused’. But for a call center employee, what does that mean? Does it mean I need to smile when I answer the phone? Does it mean that I need to give a discount?

Actually maybe more customer focused from a call center perspective means using a slightly different script, actually having better access to various deals or entering slightly different information into our customer system so that we can get better analytics. These are actually quite detailed things…and if we want people to work in a different way then we need to make sure we give them the tools, the support and direction at that lower level.

So getting strategy implemented accurately down the organisation is tough, but not impossible and the results are more than worth effort. Plus – that is what your job as CEO is all about – plus the business lunches and collecting awards.

Part of the trick is having a vision that is crisp enough that EVERYONE can remember it. 15 years after leaving Accenture I can still remember “Helping clients change to be more successful”.

At my company it is “Making work easier, faster and more valuable for millions of people“.

Most vision statements are meaningless rubbish. So lets leave the last word to Dilbert’s Vision Statement Generator:

“We have committed to synergistically fashion high-quality products so that we may collaboratively provide access to inexpensive leadership skills in order to solve business problems”

“It is our job to continually foster world-class infrastructures as well as to quickly create principle-centered sources to meet our customer’s needs”

“Our challenge is to assertively network economically sound methods of empowerment so that we may continually negotiate performance based infrastructures”

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Ian Gotts is CEO and Chairman of Nimbus Partners, an established and rapidly growing global software company, headquartered in the UK. He is a very experienced senior executive and serial entrepreneur, with a career spanning 25 years. Ian has co-authored a number of books including “Common Approach, Uncommon Results”, published in English and Chinese and in its second edition, "Why Killer Products Don't Sell" and books covering Cloud computing from the perspective of both the prospective buyer, and the software vendor. Having begun his career in 1983 as an engineer for British Rail, Ian then spent 12 years at Accenture (nee Andersen Consulting) specialising in the project management of major business critical IT projects. During this time, he spent two years as an IT Director, seconded to the Department for Social Security (DSS), with a department of over 500 and a budget responsibility of 40 million pounds.