Strategy Execution: How Top Companies Get Ahead of the Competition and Stay There

Strategy Execution How Top Companies Get Ahead of the Competition and Stay There

Everyone wants to be part of a high-performing company. But what is it actually like to build one?

There are interesting similarities and differences in the strategies and plans of top-performing businesses when it comes to managing change.

Let’s take a look at the top performing companies and what you can do to apply these findings in your strategy execution.

Similarities between the Best and Rest

Both companies in these categories can be credited with having clear visions and realistic strategies. They also often have:

* Employees who know that the customer is king

* High quality products and services are crucial for success

* Engaged employees have the skills and motivation to succeed in their job.

What is it that sets the best organizations apart from those who are less successful?

What sets top companies apart?

Companies that perform well are known for having cultures that are adaptable, collaborative, participative, and innovative. These cultural traits are implemented by leaders who demonstrate leadership, organizational development, and systems.

Five key areas are where leaders in high-performing companies seem to excel:

Area 1: Managing Paradoxes

Top-performing leaders are more adept at finding the right balance between short-term and long-term goals. They also have the ability to establish control and provide autonomy, ensure stability and manage change, keep costs low and improve quality while growing the company. They can also manage the often contradictory needs and desires of employees, customers, stockholders/owners.

Change Management – Area

Five behaviors are identified in our research as the best traits of a change manager.

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Be open about the changes and their impact.

64 percent of 655 respondents to our survey believed that leaders should be open and honest with their followers, even if they don’t know all the answers. People expect leaders to be available and to have an open dialogue about changing.

Be a role model for positive change.

It’s not enough to say the right things or enthusiastically explain the business case for change. Employees expect to see these words supported by actions. This is how employees judge the effectiveness of a leader or manager in managing change.

Set realistic goals and milestones.

Employees will feel more optimistic about the change when they reach milestones and set realistic goals. Unattainable goals can frustrate and demoralize employees in the initial months. This will result in a waste of time and energy spent preparing for the transition.

Do not underestimate the amount of resources needed.

Failure to implement change initiatives is often due to over-commitment or underestimating the effort required to achieve objectives. Remember that employees also have annual performance goals and the work required to make the change a success.

Encourage enthusiasm among your employees.

Managers meet with employees during the first month to receive their support. Managers can meet with employees to get their support after the first month. Employees may lose focus if they return to their regular jobs. Leaders must model behavior that supports the change throughout the initiative and not just during the kickoff.

Area 3: Practice Participative Leadership

Employees should have the opportunity to voice their opinions and concern about critical decisions. This improves decision quality and gives employees a sense that they are part of the team. Without it, nothing can be truly great.

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Area 4: Lead by example

Top-performing leaders know that people won’t trust them or follow them if their values aren’t shared and they don’t support the same priorities.

Area 5: Effectively Work across Organizational Boundaries

High-performing leaders are also adept at coordinating actions and decisions across organizational boundaries. Effective leaders make sure that there are three things in place to achieve this: clear goals, clear roles, decision authority, transparency, and sharing information.

It can be challenging to become a top-performing business. This requires constant attention to the leadership qualities and competencies mentioned above, as well as a willingness and ability to continuously improve products and services.


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