Doug Sundheim recently published an article in The Harvard Business Review on a subject of relevance to anyone involved in organizational management – whether in the field of law or any other discipline. His focus is “the chasm between strategy and execution.”
Sundheim points out a truth familiar to anyone who has ever tried to implement a plan that involves actual human beings: strategizing is “elegant,” a “clean and sophisticated process,” while “execution is a minefield.” When the two operations are carried out by separate branches of the same organization, even the best strategies are usually doomed to failure.
Sundheim suggests that addressing the problems that are sure to arise when logic hits reality requires “street smarts and muscle.” He says that cooperation between the strategists and the executors is essential: they must work as a team, rather than separately. He sets out mindsets for both groups that will facilitate their ability to work together and to get things done.
“Closing the Chasm Between Strategy and Execution” makes interesting reading. I highly recommend it.
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