Strategy execution is commonly fraught with failure. One consistent misstep when leaders attempt to translate strategy into results is: the failure to align strategy with the organization’s design.

An organization is nothing more than a living embodiment of a strategy. That means its “organizational hardware” (i.e., structures, processes, technologies, and governance) and its “organizational software” (i.e., values, norms, culture, leadership, and employee skills and aspirations) must be designed exclusively in the service of a specific strategy.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. When it comes to executing strategy, alignment means configuring all of the organization’s assets in the service of your stated strategy and making sure there is no confusion about what each part of the organization does to bring it to life.

If you’re embarking on executing your company’s strategy, here are six ways to make sure your organization is designed to do it successfully.

  • Translate differentiation into capabilities
  • Separate competitive capabilities from “everyday work”
  • Distribute resources and decision rights to the right leaders
  • Shut down irrelevant processes and governance
  • Understand where the current culture will get in the way
  • Build nimble structures that allow you to pivot

If you want to raise the odds of successfully executing your company’s strategy, invest the time in aligning your organization’s design to embody the strategy. Instead of relying exclusively on the alignment of goals and metrics, broaden your understanding of alignment to include all the components of your organization. Make sure they fit together congruently into a cohesive organization. 

To read the full article with further details and a case study, visit the Harvard Business Review website. 

Source: Harvard Business Review