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Strategy Execution Management and the Digital World - Part 2

Strategy in a Digital World

In part 1 of this blog we looked at the evolution of strategy execution management (SEM) since the earlier 20th century, how the digital era has redefined it and how business goals are achieved.

Planning aligning, executing, monitoring and reporting are now all at our fingertips. 

What used to be protracted unwieldy processes necessitating time, manpower and strategies in their own right, are now streamlined, immediate and absolutely comprehensive. It has been a remarkable evolution. What was comparatively prehistoric became practically futuristic within a decade. 

The business landscape is shifting like never before in terms of pace and direction

It has never been more important to get business strategy in place, on track and with the best tools.  With changes in consumer requirements and habits, supplier and manufacturing ways, means and processes also changing, today’s organizations need to be highly aware, attuned to their market, agile and responsive.

The speed at which technology and innovation is advancing is nothing short of astonishing. Computer processing power is doubling every two years, biotech is making gigantic leaps in healthcare, medicine and gene editing, and the fields of space exploration, renewable energy and AI are paving a new future.

But is business strategy keeping up?

If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate on change on the inside, the end is near”. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric

Today many organizations find themselves on the brink of obsolescence because they fail to align their strategies with the evolving technological landscape and one of the reasons is the rate of technological development itself.

Renowned economist Erik Brynjolfsson noted, “The pace of technological change is accelerating and the ability of businesses, regulators and individuals to adapt is struggling to keep up”. This leaves businesses grappling with the challenge of predicting, reacting and incorporating emerging technologies effectively.  

And then there has been the COVID-19 pandemic factor which has seen an unprecedented urgency in digital transformation. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company stated, “We have vaulted five years forwards in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of about eight weeks”. And Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft made a similar observation, “We’ve seen two years worth of digital transformation in two months”.

Those companies that were able to embrace digital transformation and integrate technology were not only able to survive but thrive, while those hampered by legacy systems, cultural resistance or lack of digital skills sailed towards the rocks. 

“In the business world the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield”, John Chambers former CEO of Cisco.

With technology moving apace the danger is that the gap between business strategy and technology widens.To succeed it is now more important than ever that a culture of innovation is a natural and integral part of an organization. Businesses must invest in digital literacy and adopt agile strategies that allow them to pivot rapidly in response to technological shifts.

Where Strategy Execution Management and technology meet.

Rather than being daunting or costly, technology can provide the answer when it comes to  successful strategies and attaining business goals. DecideAct has placed itself squarely at the intersection of business strategy and technology to deliver SEM tools that harness current tech to the entire process and strategic planning, execution and delivery in a way that is no longer ‘futuristic’ of the preserve of the biggest corporations.

In tandem with that, DecideAct founders Flemming Videriksen and Bjarni Snaebjorn Jonsson pooled their three decades of experience and expertise in strategic development and implementation as well as organizational leadership, to write a thorough but easy to read guide to modern day strategy management in this digital age.

For the past 10 years Flemming and Bjarni have dedicated themselves to creating the optimal infrastructure for successful execution strategies and hauling strategy SEM into the digital age with all its vast benefits. 

A worker is only as good as their tools - proverb .

By designing a cutting edge digital infrastructure for organizations, large and small, there would be a tool to support and continuously navigate the complex processes of strategic governance.  Through their vision, experience and the expertise of top programmers and UX specialists, DecideAct was born - a cloud platform raising the bar of strategy execution and management.

And in writing the 39-page ‘Strategy Execution Management in a Nutshell’ they have defined modern strategy management in the digital age. 

Modernizing strategy execution means using technology

Digitalization means increased delivery, speed, information, agility and performance and, as Gartner (www.gartner.com) reports, “Digitalization is what is driving strategy execution management”.

A digital platform is able to tell management and employees, in an instant, what is going on, what targets are being achieved, and what adjustments need to be made to ensure a business stays the course towards its ultimate goals. 

Quick, sound decision-making and clear communication have been vital for businesses in any era, but only now with the widest array of facts and data at our fingertips, are we able to make those decisions fully equipped with all the information we need. 

But with 89% of organizations still not having a fully-fledged governance process or strategic monitoring in place, it strongly suggests that effective SEM is still not at the heart of many businesses. But no company would adopt the same loose, poorly informed and directionless approach to its finances.

There is still an amateur approach to SEM

How long could any company survive continuous financial data, response, oversight, leadership and decision making? And yet the majority still fail to apply such rigour and importance to their overall strategy, something that should be at the core of the business and its pathway to success.

Failure to align the organizations vision and strategy can and most of the time will lead to lack of direction and execution failures. “Where there is no vision there is no hope”, George Washington Carver. 

Strategy execution management is digital

Technology moves forwards not backwards. In the same with that TV and radio have moved from analogue to digital, so too SEM has moved on from notebooks and spreadsheets into full digitalization.

Perhaps, even now, blame for reluctance  and resistance can still be placed on the lack of awareness of how modern day SEM can and should work and a remaining cultural and generational shift that needs to take place which will allow a more complete and welcome embracing of digital management tools .

Speaking of resistance to change, management consultant and author Peter Drucker said, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence, it is to act with yesterdays logic”.

Flemming and Bjani’s free SEM guide in this digital age is an attempt to widen awareness, break down walls of resistance and take the technological intimidation away. It is a step-by-step document explaining clearly how and why digitalization and SEM are the perfect combination for taking strategy from its earliest ideas to business success in the most thorough, efficient and informed way. 

The technology might be advanced but it is readily available, user friendly and quick to adopt and integrate.  It is now possible to handle extremely complex data sets and integrate them with the technology infrastructure of your business, allowing  a business to follow every aspect of strategy execution live. Simply pressing a button can deliver a total overview of strategic performance in any part of an organization at any time. 

Download the free SEM guide here


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