Before implementing a new or revised strategy, company leaders must ensure the organizational structure can support the planned activities. After identifying the tasks that the company must perform well to succeed, company executives configure organizational hierarchies to support primary strategic goals and achieve competitive advantages. They also identify areas of weakness that pose risks and devise techniques for handling crises. Successful strategic implementation depends on structuring the organization’s employees so they can most effectively use the tools and resources available to create quality products and services.
To prevent their staff from spending time on activities not directly related to achieving companies' strategic goals, managers identify tasks that can be outsourced to third-party vendors. Structuring work this way allows experts to perform these jobs, typically at a lower cast, while employees focus on their core competencies supporting main businesses. For example, computer manufacturers typically outsource assembly while focusing internally on design, sales and distribution duties.
Aligning Functions to Strategic Objectives
Before corporate leaders can implement new strategyies, they need to ensure that all personnel in the organizational structure possess the necessary skills, knowledge and resources to accomplish the tasks. Work must flow from one function to another so leaders should establish clear processes with policies and procedures that define roles and responsibilities. The strategy must be consistent across all departments, adaptive to changes, competitively advantageous and technically feasible.
Successfully implementing a new strategy requires that managers and employees understand what activities require executive approval and which decisions employees have the empowerment to make without further approval. Ideally, decision makers should be those people who are closest to the situation and most knowledgeable about the impact. By avoiding micro-managing the organization, managers streamline operations and eliminate wasteful tasks. If the organization is structured to allow employees the flexibility to make critical decisions, they must also be held accountable for their actions.
Strategic implementations require personnel to work together to achieve specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-constrained goals and objectives. Establishing a common balanced scorecard prevents groups from competing against each other to succeed individually at the expense of the whole company. If company executives foster a cooperative environment between departments, managers share resources, personnel and knowledge effectively. Additionally, the organizational structure should encourage new employees to seek out coaching and mentoring from corporate executives. By encouraging learning and development, company leaders establish a framework for sustainable growth.
- “Corporate Strategy”; David Collis and Cynthia Montgomery; 2004
- New England Complex Systems Institute: Corporate Strategy: From Core Competence to Complexity
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.