To discuss examples of good strategy execution in a live organization.

Assignment: Write a two paragraph or longer response to the following question – Can you describe a company that demonstrates one of the eight characteristics of good strategy execution (Textbook Figure 10.1, page 200)? Why have you picked this particular company to discuss good strategy execution? What evidence do you have to offer that supports your argument that the company exhibits good strategy execution? Then, read and post a reply to two of your classmates regarding the analysis of their company. Specific questions to address include: Do you concur with your classmates’ argument that the company exhibits good strategy execution? Why or why not? Does the company exhibit more than one of the eight characteristics of good strategy execution? Perhaps you disagree and would argue that the company in questions does not execute strategy effectively? Why do you believe this? What evidence do you have to bring to bear on the question of the company’s strategy execution? Rule: Only one post per company. Your post must be a unique company not discussed by any other post on this discussion board. Please discuss only one company in your post in order to give everyone a chance to focus on a single company in their example. Rule: Post one (1) original thread and two (2) replies to other threads for a total of three (3) posts on the discussion board. Your original thread must be unique to you and must focus on a unique company that is not discussed by anyone else in the class.


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I chose to write about the University of Alaska Anchorage, and how they use the first component
of strategy execution. The first component is “building an organization with the capabilities,
people, and structure needed to execute the strategy successfully” (Gamble, 2017). I have chosen
this organization, because I work for them and have been surprised by this about them. A
university is a place to learn, but I do not believe the staffing techniques, capabilities, and
structure in many ways reflect that. I work for this organization, and within a department (The
Center for Human development) that generates more revenue than any other. How is it possible
for a university research facility to generate so much revenue, and rarely teach students? It is setup almost like a “research team for hire”, and everyone on my team has a background that is in
high-demand in Alaska. This strategy was put in place a few years ago when budgets and
spending at universities began decreasing or getting cut, and so far has proven very successful. In
order for this strategy to be success the university has had to focus on the first component of
strategy execution that is mentioned in our lesson.
Without the right mix of capabilities, people, and structure this strategy may not be successful.
Each member on this team goes through a rigorous screening process to look for
specific background experience and capabilities, and these capabilities are tested in numerous
ways. In order to continue to generate revenue and project turnover that is desired we must add
people to the team that will have a low learning curve before being comfortable within their
position, therefore we have never had new graduates or single degree holders on our team. The
right mix of people is also necessary, because we work in a state with a diversity in culture,
ethnicity, and citizenship so the team must reflect the same to maximize our efforts. Our
structure is unlike any other department within the university, and we are hidden away in our
own building off of the main campus. This is for a variety of reasons, but mainly security and
accessibility purposes. So far the strategy execution works, but if I could make a change it would
be to incorporate students or people interested in learning about the projects we work on.
Gamble, J., Thompson, A., & Peteraf, M. (2017). Essentials of Strategic Management:
The Quest for Competitive Advantage (5th Ed.). New York. McGraw Hill Higher
University of Alaska Anchorage (2017). Center for Human Development. Retrieved
Faxon Machining is a machining company that has been around since 1978 and has
served a broad range of industries that require machining services “such as defense,
aerospace, medical, automotive, and oil and energy” (“History”, 2017). Faxon
Machining is a strong example of the very first requirement that Gamble, Peteraf &
Thompson’s list as a characteristic of good strategy execution which is “Building an
organization with the capabilities, people, and structure needed to execute the
strategy successfully” (2017). As you can see from the number of different industries
that Faxon has served and the number of years that is has been around that it has
flexible management that is able to execute new strategies to serve new clients. In
2011 the owner of Faxon Machining, who is a firearms enthusiast, decided that the
company would begin manufacturing firearms, parts, and accessories.
In less than a year (2012) Faxon Firearms division was launched (“History”, 2017). Not
only did the business launch into a very well developed and competitive market, but
became an almost instant success. Today, five years later, Faxon parts can be found
at every major retail outlet and also many parts suppliers.
History. (2017). Retrieved 4 December 2017,
Gamble, J., Peteraf, M., & Thompson, A. (2017). Essentials of Strategic Management,
5th Edition. NY, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Superior Strategy
Another Path to
LO1 Gain command of what managers must do to build
an organization capable of good strategy execution.
LO2 Learn why resource allocation should always be
based on strategic priorities.
LO3 Understand why policies and procedures should be
designed to facilitate good strategy execution.
LO4 Understand how process management programs
that drive continuous improvement help an
organization achieve operating excellence.
LO5 Recognize the role of information and operating
systems in enabling company personnel to carry out
their strategic roles proficiently.
LO6 Learn how and why the use of well-designed
incentives and rewards can be management’s
single most powerful tool for promoting operating
LO7 Gain an understanding of how and why a company’s
culture can aid the drive for proficient strategy
LO8 Understand what constitutes effective managerial
leadership in achieving superior strategy execution.
Crafting versus Implementing Strategy
• Crafting Strategy
• Implementing Strategy
? Market- and
? Execution of operations-
? Success depends on
driven activities
? Successful depends on
management’s ability to
Attracting and pleasing
? Outcompeting rivals
? Developing the firm’s
collection of resources
and capabilities
Direct change
? Allocate resources
? Build capabilities
? Build strategy-supportive
policies and culture
? Deliver good results
Who Is Responsible for Implementation
of the Chosen Strategy?
• The organization’s chief executive officer and other
senior managers are ultimately responsible for
ensuring that the strategy is executed successfully.
• It is middle and lower-level managers who must see
to it that frontline employees and work groups
competently perform strategy-critical activities that
allow companywide performance targets to be met.
• Requires all managers thinking about:
? “What does my area have to do to implement its part of the
strategic plan, and what should I do to get these things
accomplished effectively and efficiently?”
10.1 The Eight Components of Strategy Execution
The Principal Managerial Components
of Strategy Execution
1. Building an organization with the capabilities,
people, and structure needed to execute the
strategy successfully.
2. Allocating ample resources to strategy-critical
3. Ensuring that policies and procedures facilitate
rather than impede effective strategy execution.
4. Adopting process management programs that
drive continuous improvement in how strategy
execution activities are performed.
The Principal Managerial Components
of Strategy Execution
5. Installing information and operating systems that
enable company personnel to perform essential
6. Tying rewards directly to the achievement of
performance objectives.
7. Fostering a corporate culture that promotes good
strategy execution.
8. Exerting the internal leadership needed to propel
implementation forward.
(1) Building an Organization with the
Capabilities, People, and Structure
Needed for Good Strategy Execution
Organization Building
Staffing the
Acquiring, developing,
and strengthening
resources and
Structuring the
organization and
work effort
(2) Allocating Resources to
Strategy-Critical Activities
• Reasons for the allocation process include:
? To determine what funding is needed to execute new strategic
? To bolster value-creating processes
? To strengthen the firm’s capabilities and competencies
• Allocating resources to support strategy execution
? Funding promising proposals; turning down those that do not.
? Providing the proper amount of funding to support new strategic
? Reallocating resources to support new strategies.
(3) Instituting Strategy Supportive
Policies and Procedures
• Strategy execution is facilitated by policies
and procedures that:
? Help enforce the needed consistency in how
particular strategy critical activities are performed.
? Provide top-down guidance regarding how certain
things now need to be done.
? Promote a work climate that facilitates good strategy
(4) Striving for Continuous Improvement
in Processes and Activities
Key Tools for
Total quality
(TQM) programs
Six Sigma
quality control
(5) Installing Information
and Operating Systems
• Execution of strategies and value-creating
internal processes depend on a number of
internal operating systems.
• Information systems are needed to track
and report data on:
? Customers
? Operations
? Employees
? Suppliers
? Finances
Trends in Information Systems
• Up-to-the-minute reporting:
? Manufacturers have daily production reports.
? Retail companies have real-time inventory and sales
records for each item.
? Manufacturers and retailers are able to use online
systems to monitor inventories and track shipments
and deliveries.
• Real-time information systems permit
managers to quickly intervene changes if
initiatives and operations drift off course.
(6) Using Rewards and Incentives to
Promote Better Strategy Execution
• Rewards should motivate employees to
focus on what results must be achieved and
not on simply performing their jobs.
• Reward systems should include both
monetary and non-monetary incentives.
• People pay attention to the things for which
they are rewarded.
(7) Instilling a Corporate Culture that
Promotes Good Strategy Execution
• A corporate culture:
? Is the firm’s organizational DNA—its approach to
people management.
? Is comprised of shared core values, beliefs, and
business principles that are engrained in employee
behaviors and attitudes.
? Defines its operating style—the chemistry of the
firm’s work environment (“how we do things around
High-Performance Cultures
• Standout cultural traits include:
? A “can-do” spirit
? Pride in doing things right
? No-excuses accountability
? A results-oriented work climate in which people go the
extra mile to achieve performance targets.
Traits of Unhealthy Corporate Cultures
• Highly politicized internal environment
? Issues are resolved on the basis of political clout.
• Hostility to change
? Avoid risks; experimentation and efforts to alter status quo are
• Insular, inwardly-focused “Not-invented-here” mindset
? Personnel discount the need to look outside for best practices.
• Disregard for high ethical standards
• Presence of incompatible, clashing subcultures
Substantive Culture-Changing Actions
1. Replace key executives who stonewall needed
organizational and cultural changes.
2. Promote individuals who advocate for the shift to a
different culture and who can serve as role models
for the desired cultural behavior.
3. Appoint outsiders with desired cultural attributes
to high-profile positions—new-breed managers
send an unambiguous message that a new era is
4. Screen candidates for new positions carefully,
hiring only those who fit in with the new culture.
Substantive Culture-Changing Actions
5. Mandate that all personnel attend culture-training
programs to better understand the culture-related
actions and behaviors that are expected.
6. Design compensation incentives that boost the pay
of teams and individuals who display the desired
cultural behaviors, while hitting change-resisters in
the pocketbook.
7. Revise policies and procedures in ways that will
help drive cultural change.
Symbolic Culture Changing Actions
• Lead by executive example. Executives must
be alert to the fact that company personnel
will be watching their actions and decisions
to see if they are walking the talk.
• Executives promote the strategy. Culture fit
by appearing at ceremonial functions to
celebrate the culture and praise individuals
and groups that get with the program.
(8) Leading the Strategy Execution Process
• Managers at all levels of the firm must:
1. Stay on top of what is happening and closely
monitoring progress by engaging in managing by
walking around (MBWA).
2. Put constructive pressure on the organization to
achieve good results and operating excellence.
3. Not delay in initiating corrective actions to improve
strategy execution and achieve the targeted
performance results.
The Principal Managerial Components of Strategy
Executing strategy entails figuring out the specific techniques, actions, and behaviors that are needed to
get things done and deliver results. The exact items that need to be placed on management’s action
agenda always have to be customized to fit the particulars of a company’s situation. The hot buttons for
successfully executing a low-cost provider strategy are different from those in executing a differentiation
strategy. Implementing a new strategy for a struggling company in the midst of a financial crisis is
different from improving strategy execution in a company where the execution is already pretty good.
While there’s no definitive managerial recipe for successful strategy execution that cuts across all
company situations and all types of strategies, certain managerial bases have to be covered no matter
what the circumstances. Eight managerial tasks crop up repeatedly in company efforts to execute
strategy (see Figure 10.1):
1. Building an organization with the capabilities, people, and structure needed to execute the strategy successfully
2. Allocating ample resources to strategy-critical activities
3. Ensuring that policies and procedures facilitate rather than impede effective strategy execution
4. Adopting process management programs that drive continuous improvement in how strategy execution activities
are performed
5. Installing information and operating systems that enable company personnel to perform essential activities
Page 200
Tying rewards directly to the achievement of performance objectives
7. Fostering a corporate culture that promotes good strategy execution
8. Exerting the internal leadership needed to propel implementation forward
FIGURE 10.1 The Eight Components of Strategy Execution
How well managers perform these eight tasks has a decisive impact on whether the outcome is a
spectacular success, a colossal failure, or something in between. In the remainder of this chapter, we will
discuss what is involved in performing the eight key managerial tasks that shape the process of
implementing and executing strategy.

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