- A Strategic Realization Office (SRO) can bolster strategy execution, including by prioritizing strategic initiatives to ensure the organization does not exceed its capacity to implement them.
- SRO staffers should have proven program and project leadership abilities and be highly effective in the art and science of change management.
- Well-run SROs include governance components: facilitating the strategic-planning process, establishing project management processes and protocols and ensuring compliance.
A sound strategy without execution produces no value and results in significant opportunity cost. To ensure strong and measurable progress on strategic imperatives and goals, organizations should consider establishing a Strategic Realization Office (SRO).
Depending on the research cited, 60% to 90% of businesses fail to execute their strategies. Failure to execute a strategy or to do so in the required time frame can mean missing an opportunity to attain a formidable market position, forfeiting a competitive advantage or worse. Additionally, the inability to execute discourages employees, discredits leadership and may put the business at risk.
Effective strategy execution starts at the top
The process of successfully executing a strategy begins with the organization’s leaders. They are responsible for developing and clearly articulating a vision as the starting point for strategy development. The leadership team then identifies strategic imperatives, which are deemed essential to realizing the strategic vision based on market conditions, threats and opportunities, and other influences. The imperatives are supported by strategic goals. For instance, a strategic imperative might be to improve patient care, supported by goals such as moving into the top decile of a care-quality benchmark or becoming a provider of choice.
Once executives determine the vision, strategic imperatives and strategic goals, they must formally communicate that information — along with rationale to establish context, relevance and urgency — to the next level of management. These individuals, typically department heads, then work with their teams to create strategic initiatives that directly contribute to accomplishing the imperatives and goals.
For the overall strategy to evolve or transform an organization, it must be composed of well-defined initiatives that will have significant impact and justify dedicated resources. The objective should be to do what matters most, because no organization can do it all.