Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution by Jocelyn Davis, Henry Frechette, Jr., and Edwin Boswell (Harvard Business Press, 2010). Reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D., March 2011.
Overview: In Strategic Speed by Jocelyn Davis, et al., we learn what should be obvious but often eludes strategic planners: People matter—a lot. We’ve all seen organizations that hire consultants who lead an offsite strategic retreat and then deliver a complicated, thick, spiral-bound strategic plan for the future. You discuss it, pat everyone on the back, check “strategic planning” off your to-do list and put the binders on a bookshelf. The authors tell us how to take such a strategy to market —from paper to pavement, so to speak. And a critical element in executing strategy is people—plain and simple. The authors focus on three people accelerators including clarity (do people understand the goal?), unity (is the organization collaborating internally?), and agility (can the company adapt to change quickly?). Then the authors offer the results of their global research, case studies, and a number of diagnostic tools (both simple and usable) to demonstrate four best practices that accelerate strategic speed:
• Affirm Strategies: Make sure everyone knows where you’re going and how to get there.
• Drive Initiatives: Create and sustain real momentum.
• Manage the Climate: Monitor and instill confidence, motivation and teamwork.
• Cultivate Experience: Learn from each other and celebrate experience.