Study Reveals Agility and Collaboration Drive Strategy Execution

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Ongoing planning, active engagement, empowered teams, and heavy collaboration are not only key components of an agile mindset; they're paramount to achieving good strategy execution.

This an indelible truth that I was glad to see validated in a recent global executive study conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with the Brightline Initiative, as detailed in the resulting report, "Testing Organizational Boundaries to Improve Strategy Execution."

According to the study, only one-fifth of the 1,636 organizations in the study were able to achieve 80% or more of their strategic targets, and they were able to do it by breaking through organizational silos and encouraging more agile ways of working. Moreover, they were better able to adapt to market changes and new demands.

According to Brightline, the common habits among the top performers were as follows:

  • Decision-making is decentralized and occurs via cross-functional teams

  • Collaboration is encouraged and rewarded, with teams empowered to put strategic initiatives into action.

  • Executives are engaged and act as coaches, not just leaders

  • Development and delivery of strategic initiatives is a dynamic and continuous process, not something just visited annually or less often

One thing I've noticed over the years, and it seems evident in these findings as well: The best organizations operationalize these traits. It's ingrained in their culture, their training, and in their reward systems.

You can read and download the full report in the article hyperlink above.


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Jerry Manas is the bestselling author of The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook, Napoleon on Project Management, and more. At PDWare, Jerry helps clients improve strategy execution through tools and processes that align people and work with organizational priorities. Connect with Jerry on Twitter and LinkedIn.


PDWare is a pioneer in resource planning software, offering intuitive resource planning tools to drive your work portfolio based on your people's capacity. PDWare believes that good strategy execution, portfolio management, and project delivery begins with a solid foundation of resource planning. PDWare is a proud sponsor of the Resource Planning Summit, the premier resource planning conference.