Too many letters!  How about… you will find your next Chief Strategy Officer in the Project Management Office.

You see, in my mind, good Strategic Management is like good Project Management: we are managing a portfolio of work that has a customer, a budget, a timeline and lots of moving parts.  A good strategy is like a well thought out, well funded project and this is what so many organizations don’t get. They will take so much time establishing a strategic plan – and then forget to invest in making it happen.

I was around in 2000 when so many organizations were waking up to the benefits of project management.  But in those days, they made the mistake that we are seeing repeated today with our strategic plans… they went back to work and thought those projects would just manage themselves.

Most organizations grew out of that fairly quickly.  And so, too, will today’s organizations when it comes to the strategic plan. These plans need to be managed, someone needs to be accountable, the work needs to get done and the many moving parts need to be managed through to completion.

I see the space called ‘Strategy Execution’ as being in the same stage that Project Management was in the year 2000.  We have lots to learn, but it will happen.  Eventually, our organizations will understand that acquiring the competitor and integrating them into the fold is a huge project and needs to be managed properly; that the idea of a new product line and a 50% increase in revenue won’t just happen unless we apply sound project management practices, principles and people to the plan; or that the decision to take our business on-line is a big one and needs to be viewed as a strategic project as well as a strategic plan.

And this takes me back to the beginning.  Our critical strategic plans need someone in charge, someone ultimately responsible for the ‘project’ and someone who has the experience dealing with this kind of work in the past.

Yes, your best project managers would make great Chief Strategy Officers.

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