Effective execution of a strategy

The purpose of this discussion is to explore this week’s core theme of superior strategy execution with respect to discovering another path to competitive advantages. So far through this course, the theme has focused on managers and leaders. To implement a great strategy takes a well-developed team effort. The success of the strategy is dependent upon the management of a company having the ability to drive organizational change. A significant factor to remember is that the middle and lower-level managers must ensure lower frontline team members execute the organization’s strategy.

Process: Effective execution of a strategy

Effective execution of a strategy is highly dependent on the team’s efforts toward achieving a shared goal. If employees of an organization are not competent in their job responsibilities, it makes it extremely difficult for the company to accomplish its strategic objective. According to Gamble, Peteraf, and Thompson (2019), “proficient strategy execution depends heavily on competent personnel, better-than-adequate competitive capabilities, and an effective internal organization” (p. 201). Hence, the role of the employee is very vital in the effective execution of the organization’s strategy. Additionally, the absence of effective execution of a strategy results in the company losing a potential customer due to poor management and poor decision making.

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Another challenge senior management could encounter is an effort to motivate the workforce. According to Gamble et al. (2019), the more knowledgeable a manager is about what motivates the employees; the more it results in the success of its performance goals. These motivators can come in the form of appreciation or monetary. The manager is obligated to determine what rewards or incentives that are most effective in motivating employees.

Another factor in the success of an effective execution strategy in an organization is the structure of organizational culture. According to Gamble et al. (2019), “a company’s culture is important because it influences its traditions, work practice, and style of operating” (p. 217). Leadership is responsible for guiding the workforce to focus on the appropriate goals and objectives in the organization.

Strategic thinking: Power of design vs. the power of focus

In regards to strategic thinking, there is a struggle between the power of design and the power of focus. According to Fjeldstad, & Snow (2018), “It is the role of organization design to facilitate control and coordination, for which the requirements arise from the value configuration underlying a particular business model.” (p. 36). The power of organization design is extremely critical to the successful process of strategic thinking. The power of focus can also tie in the power of design because they both correlate with each other. According to Rumelt (2011), when including strategy effort, it is necessary but not always satisfactory. There are several business professionals with a lot of experience who are still incompetent in developing strategy. Even if senior management is trained for the key role, this may not always result in an excellent strategic leader. Strategically, a leader must be absorbed in strategic decision-making experience to have the required knowledge and ability to make critical decisions.

In organizations, the power of design is significant but the power of focus is just as significant to the success of an organization. Leaders have the power and influence to drive the culture of an organization to think and act strategically. According to Char, & Bitzinger (2017), strategic thinking resulted in the modernization of the People Liberation Army which is quickly becoming China’s leading force for projecting power in the world. There are specific professional experiences that can help add to the creation of a team member’s skill in strategic thinking.

Organization’s Leaders have the capacity to change the relationship between the company’s culture and their ability to think strategically. The focus of an organization must be geared towards the effort to strategically to plan out the future of the organization. A company that lacks a plan is unable to strategize for initiatives that could positively affect the business processes, and the financial performance of the company. Management must also be cautious of certain traps in the decision-making process, that could affect the business.

Decision model: Key decision traps to avoid

In creating a decision model, a manager must not focus only on the design or the emphasis on only the decision model. Leaders must find a healthy balance of both to be able to satisfy both the needs of a strategically successful business decision model. A decision model appropriate for a business trying to execute a strategy would be the conflict resolution model. According to Krogerus and Tschäppeler (2018), “In this principle there are six different ways of dealing with a conflict situation: escape, fight, give up, evade responsibility, compromise, or reach and consensus” (p. 108). During the strategic thinking process, a group or individual has the above choices to solve situations. The choices in the conflict resolution model will be determined on what business problem a manager is trying to solve. This model will help reach a quicker decision because it gives the business manager choices to come to a solution quickly.


A management team has the responsibility to manage their team in the most effective way possible. The decision-making process inside any business is vital to the success of the firm. When a leader can alter the culture of his or her organization, it can prove to be very helpful in strategic planning. The power of design and the power of focus can be correlated due to the factors that encompass each one. The design of a company is based on how the manager builds the company’s strategic culture. The focus of a company will be dependent on what goals and strategies the leadership team decided to peruse. Both of these powers are relative to how a company can implement effective strategy execution. According to Keller (2012), “becoming a Christian is a lot like moving to a new country” (p. 182). Christian leaders need to change their ways when they are conducting business. Leaders need to treat all business shareholders with honesty and respect. When this is completed, professionals can become better followers of Christ and become successful business professionals.


Char, J., & Bitzinger, R. A. (2017). A new direction in the people’s liberation army’s emergent

strategic thinking, roles, and missions. The China Quarterly, 232, 841-865.


Fjeldstad, O.D., & Snow, C.C. (2018). Business models and organization design. Long Range

Planning. Vol.51, Iss.1, pp. 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2017.07.008.

Gamble, J., Peteraf, M., & Thompson, A. (2019). Essentials of strategic management: The Quest

for Competitive Advantage. (6th ed.), New York, NY: McGraw Hill Higher Education

Keller, T. (2012). Every good endeavor, New York, NY: Riverhead Books, Penguin Group, New York, NY.

Krogerus, M., & Tschäppeler, R. (2018). The decision book: 50 models for strategic thinking.,

(Revised ed.), New York, NY: W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Rumelt, R. (2011). Good strategy/bad strategy: The difference and why it matters., New York,

NY: Crown Business

Annotated Bibliography

Char, J., & Bitzinger, R. A. (2017). A new direction in the people’s liberation army’s emergent

strategic thinking, roles, and missions. The China Quarterly, 232, 841-865.


This article highlighted the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) strategy of undergoing a profound transformation in terms of its operational capabilities, both with regard to its hardware as well as its heartware, such as the softer aspects of its development including its operational culture and military ethos. Char & Bitzinger (2017) asserted that these changes permeated every facet of the PLA – technological, organizational, and doctrinal. Despite successive generations of Chinese leaders have declared their adherence to “peace” and “development,” becoming clearer that Beijing’s security policy under Xi Jinping has shifted steadily away from “keeping a low profile.” They stated that in that regard, the status of the PLA in the domestic and international calculus of China’s new commander-in-chief has, unsurprisingly, become more pronounced, with Xi taking noticeably greater interest in harnessing the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive forces as his personal domestic powerbase and foreign policy instrument complementing China’s hard economic power. Mr. James Char is an Associate Research Fellow with the China Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). He is the inaugural Wong Wai Ling Scholar in the Masters of Arts in Contemporary China at Nanyang Technological University. An avid China watcher, James features as a regular guest commentator with international media outlets. In addition to writing on China’s national and international politics in RSIS Commentaries, he has also contributed articles to Pacific Forum CSIS, The National Interest, East Asia Forum; The Diplomat as well as TODAY, The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao newspapers in Singapore. James is the lead editor of The People’s Liberation Army in the Xi Jinping Era and Reshaping the People’s Liberation Army Since the 18th Party Congress and has also published papers in peer-reviewed journals including The China Quarterly, Asian Security and the Journal of Strategic Studies. Prior to joining RSIS, James was an Associate Lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic where he taught a course on international affairs. His current research interests center on Chinese domestic politics, civil-military relations in China and China’s diplomatic strategies in the Global South.

Fjeldstad, O.D., & Snow, C.C. (2018). Business models and organization design. Long Range

Planning. Vol.51, Iss.1, pp. 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2017.07.008.

In this article, Fjeldstad & Snow (2016) made three contributions. First, they clarified the theoretical foundations of the business model concept and relate them to the five elements of a business model: customers, value propositions, product/service offerings, value creation mechanisms, and value appropriation mechanisms. A clear definition of a business model enables theory to develop systematically and provides coherent guidance to managers. Additionally, they suggested that value configuration is a contingency variable that should be included in future theorizing and model building. Fjeldstad & Snow asserted that each of the elements of a business model is affected by a firm’s value configuration depending on whether the firm is a value chain, value shop, or value network. Finally, they linked business models to organization design. They showed how organization design is affected by value configuration and how new collaborative organizational forms enable open and agile business models. Dr. Øystein D. Fjeldstad is a professor at BI – Norwegian Business School, where he holds the Telenor Chair of International Strategy and Management. Dr. Fjeldstad’s research is on models of value creation and on new organizational forms, with telecommunications, financial services, technology, maritime, and health care as the main empirical contexts. He has published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning, and Social Networks. Professor Fjeldstad is co-author of the seminal paper on collaborative communities: The architecture of collaboration. Strategic Management Journal 33, 2012: 734-750. Professor Fjeldstad has a Ph.D. in Business Administration and an MSc in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona. He is also Siviløkonom from the NHH Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. He has been on the faculty of BI since 1989 and has during his tenure been Head of Department of Strategy as well as Dean of Academic Programs BI. Prior to joining BI Fjeldstad was a consultant and manager in Andersen Consulting (Accenture). Professor Snow is a native Californian who has been at Penn State since 1974. During his career, he has taught students and executives in the United States and in more than 25 countries in Europe, Asia, and South America. He has also been a visiting professor at The Amos Tuck School (Dartmouth College), Norwegian School of Management, University of Oregon, University of Melbourne (2007-12), and University of Aarhus Business School (Denmark, 2007-11). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and is listed in the Who’s Who in the Management Sciences, Great Writers on Organizations, and The IEBM Handbook of Management Thinking. Professor Snow worked on three research projects. The first project is a continuation of his research on collaborative innovation with colleagues in California, Norway, Austria, and Denmark. He took a sabbatical from July 1 to December 31, 2010, and worked with those colleagues on papers and data collection. The second project involved his ongoing work as a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne. There he collaborates with faculty on their own research projects. Lastly, Professor Snow was the Co-Editor of a Special Issue of Organizational Dynamics entitled “Organization Designs for the 21st Century Global Economy.” He and his editorial team have invited authors to write papers on organization design topics, and the Special Issue will be published in spring 2010. His Postdoctoral Fellowship was in the Organizational Research Training Program, Stanford University, 1973. He has Ph.D. in Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley, 1972

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