business strategies · Change management · Growth & Profitability · manufacturing · Successful Strategies

Execution is driven by people not by strategy

People drive execution of strategy (by Ketan Deshpande of Minnesota MN)

Strategy development vs strategy execution:

Strategic leaders spend a lot of time and efforts on developing robust strategic plans, vision, road maps and initiatives, and they should spend just as much time if not more on the “people” to ensure that execution per the vision is realized.

Industry experts state that no matter how difficult the strategic planning is, execution can be 10 times harder however typically it is the flawlessness of the execution that separates the winners from the losers.


It’s not about strategic thinking ….. it is all about strategic actions …… execution !



The challenge is how to drive alignment where actions are aligned with the strategic vision. Communication is a typical avenue most organizations rely on to make the needed change. Unfortunately, strategy communication, even if you do it daily, is not the same as — and is not enough to drive — strategy execution.

This is due to the fact that strategy development and communication are about knowing the end state or where to go, strategy execution is about doing or acting in such a way that the vision is being realized. And the gap between what you know and what you do is often huge.

Ensuring that everyone’s actions are in sync with each other is a challenge which adds complexity. Most strategy consultants side step the execution as it is a human behavior related challenge and not a strategy one.

Sustainable results come from everybody having perfect alignment and being hyperfocused on the highest ROI actions that drive value creation.

Making and sustaining the change:

Change management is regarded as one of the most important challenge and opportunity for any organization. The process should start with robust strategy development which begins with “asking the right questions”.

Next step is to identify specific actions and behaviors that are necessary to achieve the strategic goals. Transparency, trust and clarity should be properly managed to provide expected actions.

Identify top talent or promoters at all levels of the organization helps the organization to build and maintain momentum. Promoters are essential to the change management as they influence others behavior and continuously illustrate necessary actions. Traditional strategy communication alone can not produce similar results.

Once promoters have been identified then comes the task of assigning SMART objectives and professional development goals. This allows promoters to hone their skills and continue to increase their impact on the execution of the strategy.

People …. they hold the key to organizations success … and strategic leaders hold the key to unlocking people’s potential.


Ketan_Sharad_Deshpande_Maple_Grove_MinnesotaThe author, KetanDeshpande, lives in Minnesota and writes about a variety of topics in his blog such as global economy, market and industry trends, successful strategies for businesses, and others. Leveraging his global strategic leadership experience from the manufacturing industry to offer insights in to how businesses can meet the sustainable growth and profitability goals.

Ketan Deshpande is also passionate about sustainability and renewable energy; he curates and shares latest updates in his blog posts. Recently the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency(SMMPA) of Litchfield, Minnesota, endorsed Ketan Deshpande for an energy conservation project.

This blog also features memorable events, travel experiences and his favorite places to visit in the great state of Minnesota.

4 thoughts on “Execution is driven by people not by strategy

  1. Very nicely written. Many leaders fall into the trap of developing strategy and forgetting to drive a culture as engagement as you have described it. Would like to encourage everyone that reads this article to look at some facts about companies that report exceptional growth against companies that miss the mark on this topic

  2. Could not agree with you more. Many believe that the owner or the manager delivers results but they tend to forget everyone else that pitches in to make things happen.

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