One of the key areas that has being highlighted by the ‘new’ Companies Act (that has been in effect for the last 5 years in South Africa since 1 May 2011) is the critical importance of running a purpose driven/strategy based company.

This is essential at all levels of the company simply because it creates the “why” (the reason) for everything each person in the company does – and creates the benchmark against which everyone in the company can (and should be measured).

Even more critical however is the ability for a company (and all the people in a company) to DO what they set out to do – to execute their common strategy.

A recent article I read by Rich Horwath highlighted the following critical Links between Strategy and Execution.

Critical Connection #1: Common Language

  • Average score of strategic thinking ability for director level manager is 58%;
  • Harvard Business School Research – 95% of employees do not fully understand their companies strategy;
  • NB to educate managers at all levels on the fundamental concepts of strategy – people cannot successfully execute what they do not understand;

Critical Connection #2: Mid-Level Managers

  • Most critical members in an organisations strategy eco-system;
  • First to receive intelligence from front line employees closest to the customers and competitor activities;
  • Have the power to kill strategies without senior management even knowing the opportunities even existed;

Critical Connection #3: Linking Strategy to Daily Activities

  • If you don’t have a 1 to 2-page blueprint of your business strategy easily updated on a regular basis then you don’t have a strategy at all;
  • Strategy Blueprint
    • Page 1: Running Repository of Insights
    • Page 2: Strategic Action Plan
  • Developing a link between strategy and a manager’s daily activities is essential if an organisation is truly committed to staying focussed on the important initiatives and avoiding the time wasters;

With organisations of all sizes becoming extinct due to poor strategy, it is important to understand the critical connections between strategy development and execution.

Execution of Strategy is critical for directors and decision makers in companies because a company’s strategy is the director’s primary tool – the thing that directors (and decision makers) use to direct their own thinking, decision making and actions. And this is where potential liability lies. Inability to execute could be a symptom of a range of other issues within a company.

For help in strategy formulation, strategy execution and strategy assessment (in the light of the new Companies Act and King III Code of Corporate Governance) drop us me a mail at

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