I was working with an organization last week who has a great mantra or mission statement: “Small enough to be agile, large enough to be global”.   I loved it.

I was talking to them about strategy execution. The agile reference was enlightening.  It suggested that we needed to be agile enough to change the plan when necessary, or to adjust the course or to even stop everything and say “we are now going in the wrong direction”.

Someone in my life recently suggested that strategic plans should not go out any more than 1-2 years.  We should be planning and executing strategy in sprints, they offered.  Most industries are changing so rapidly right now that planning any further out would be foolish.

Depending on the environment. I would agree.  But if you are facing a longer-term strategic plan and you can’t see to the ‘sprint’ idea, then an agile approach would be advisable and sensible.

Any healthy strategic plan should be reviewed and scored on a regular basis. Within the process we need to ask a few key questions:

  • Are we still doing the right thing?
  • Are we still on the road to success?

And then we get agile! 

  • What needs to be changed?
  • How can we make the change quickly and efficiently?

Today’s organizations need to keep their ears and eyes on the goal(s) and be brave, strong and agile enough to make the necessary changes to the plan.  The original plan was solid, the execution was moving along well, but something changed.

Agile strategy execution will separate the winners and losers over time.

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