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Executing Your Strategy: How to Break It Down and Get It Done Hardcover – January 7, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1591399568 ISBN-10: 1591399564

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (January 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591399564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591399568
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark I. Morgan is CEO of StratEx Advisors, Inc., and lead author of Executing Your Strategy. He has thirty-plus years of industry experience in business start-ups, business development, management, leadership, and project, program, and portfolio management.


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Customer Reviews

The book is relatively simple.
Jeff Lippincott
Another major takeaway is that the "lowly" discipline of project management will be the cornerstone of successfully executing strategy in combination with the SEF.
Christophe Lambert
It's hard to get positive about a management book that begins with a ridiculous quote: "There may be a thousand little choices in a day. All of them count."
Loyd E. Eskildson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Christophe Lambert on January 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While the book is titled, "Executing the Strategy" it might more accurately be titled "Organizational Alignment" - strategy being only one, albeit the most central, of the domains of the Authors' brilliant and comprehensive Strategic Execution Framework (SEF).

Readers may miss one of the more subtle but most important gifts of the book which is to recognize that most failures in strategic execution come from not managing the interfaces between the various domains of the corporate organism, defined in the SEF: Ideation (Identity, Purpose, Long-Range Intention), Vision (Strategy, Goals, Metrics), Nature( Strategy, Culture, Organizational Structure), Engagement (Strategy, Portfolio Management), Synthesis (Portfolio Management, Program Management, Project Management), and Transition (Program Management, Project Management and Operations).

Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma aficionados take note: the greatest unaccounted for source of variability in organizational performance occurs at the interfaces between these SEF domains. Today, most organizations do not manage these interfaces at more than a superficial level, if at all. Further, the strategy domain directly interfaces with more areas of the corporate organism than any other: culture, structure, goals, metrics, and portfolio. It is no wonder that 70-90% of companies are consistently failing to execute strategies successfully.

The book succeeds well in setting out the SEF, but don't expect guidance on how to go about setting vision or strategy or improving project or portfolio management, changing culture, or setting the right metrics. Rather, each of these domains represents large bodies of knowledge, and this book's purpose is to identify them, and define the interfaces between them.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Yvette Borcia and Gerry Stern on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Books on strategy formulation are plentiful, but relatively few have been written on executing strategy. This book is a major contribution in this arena, providing an insightful path for moving from strategy to ongoing operations.

The authors provide a useful six-part model ("strategic execution framework"). As very briefly highlighted by the authors, the six parts are:

- clarifying and communicating identity, purpose, and long-term intention;
- aligning strategy, culture and structure;
- translating long-term intentions into goals, metrics and strategy;
- engaging strategy via the project investments stream;
- monitoring and continuously aligning project work with strategy; and
- transferring projects to operations.
A chapter is devoted to each of these aspects of the model. Reading the chapters will enable you to fully understand and appreciate its usefulness in operational context and from a leadership standpoint.

A keystone is the role of project management in transforming strategic intentions into operational realities.

This book is well organized, crisply written, and rich with practical content, including diagrams, tables, and rating scales to measure your organization. Overall, the authors have created a standout-achievement that will be of value to any organizational leader.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It discusses the essential ingredients to getting from the status quo to a new level in business. Companies need strategies to make a buck. And as time moves forward the strategies have to change in order to be able to continue to make a buck. Whether you are a founder of a startup who wants to create a dynamite business plan, or the leader of an existing business, this book will have something for you.

The book is relatively simple. It only contains 6 chapters, the topics of which include: ideation, vision, nature, engagement, synthesis, and transition. If these six terms don't jump out at you while you read this review, they will after you finish the book. Many people have trouble understanding how to take a strategy and convert it into reality. That is what this book is all about.

This book will help you figure out the best way to execute a strategy so you can do the the right things correctly. If you have to execute a strategy, then use this book to help you first figure what the right things you need to do are. And then use it to help you figure out how to do those things correctly. 5 stars!
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to get positive about a management book that begins with a ridiculous quote: "There may be a thousand little choices in a day. All of them count." Ever hear of Pareto's Law?

The first paragraph then tells us that "The spectacular flameouts of Carly Fiorina at HP, John Akers at IBM, John Sculley at Apple, and Pehr Gyllenhammar at Volvo are merely a few high-profile examples among thousands of CEOs whose strategies fail every year because of poor execution."

But it's just not true. Gyllenhammar failed because his strategy (make factory jobs less repetitious, and more interesting) created higher costs and lower quality - especially vs. the Toyota Production System. Carly Fiorina failed partly because of her abrasive personality, poor focus (her management meetings were dreaded), and lack of a quantitative approach, but mostly because her focus on creating a single sales force created poor performance, reduced accountability, and high costs; similarly, keeping the PC and printer units together allowed the latter to cover up the former's weaknesses. John Akers made three enormous strategic errors - failing to see the future in manufacturing PCs (allowing Intel to create a commodity market that IBM was unable to add significant value to), allowing Microsoft to take over the market for PC software, and not moving to solidify IBM as an overall problem-solver instead of hardware seller. Finally, John Sculley wanted to destroy Apple's competitive advantage (its easier-to-use software and uniqueness) and become a commodity PC producer selling to large corporations.
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