Strategy Implementation

Topics: Strategic planning, Strategic management, Management Pages: 14 (4085 words) Published: February 21, 2011
STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION - CASE OF THE EUROPEAN TELECOMMUNICATION PROVIDERS Bocean Claudiu University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Str. Al. I. Cuza nr. 13, Craiova, Meghişan Flaviu University of Piteşti, Faculty of Economical, Juridical and Administrative Sciences, Str. Târgul din Vale, Piteşti, Meghişan Georgeta-Mădălina University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Str. Al. I. Cuza nr. 13, Craiova, Most strategies stumble in the implementation phase. This paper outlines the ways for optimizing implementation. This implementation process focuses on the critical timeframe immediately following formal strategy selection, when broad objectives need to be translated into specific actions, schedules, budgets, and metrics. Often strategy development receives significant attention and resources, but its implementation is often neglected, with disastrous consequences. Using a straightforward approach, format and process, managers can bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality; they can succeed in accomplishing what they set out to do, thinking and acting strategically. Implementation lies at the core of strategy, and deserves as much attention as the formulation of the strategy. Key words: strategy, telecommunication, providers

1. Introduction
For all the energy and resources invested in the pursuit of the perfect strategy, it's surprising to consider how little effort is directed towards implementation. Most strategies stumble in the implementation phase, regardless of their merit. Managing the process of implementation is often more difficult than coming up with the strategy in the first place – but ideas that cannot be translated into action serve little purpose (Michael Allio, 2005). Much literature is devoted to the study of the content and/or ex ante process of strategy formulation; much less literature focuses on the ins and outs of the ex post implementation of the selected strategies (Boone and van Olffen, 2001). The relative absence of implementation issues in the literature is not in balance with its importance for organizational performance in practice. It is widely accepted that several strategies may be viable in the same environment as long as managers are able to shape coherent configurations in which strategic choices, structures, systems and processes are carefully aligned (Miles and Snow, 1984; Snow and Hrebiniak, 1980). Strategy implementation skills are not easily mastered. In fact, virtually all managers find implementation the most difficult aspect of their jobs – more difficult than strategic analysis or strategy formulation. Managers themselves report that less than half the plans resulting from these efforts are ever implemented. Strategies that are not implemented constitute little more than academic exercises. The ability to implement strategies is one of the most valuable of all managerial skills. Managers intent on implementing strategy must (Miller, 1998): 1. master systems thinking to be able to coordinate a broad range of interconnected efforts aimed at transforming intentions into action, and 2. take care of the factors impeding strategy implementation. Never is strategy implementation more important than when innovation is at the heart of a strategy. When it comes to innovation, execution is not about fulfilling the script. It is about constantly rewriting it. Innovation always involves treading into uncertain waters. And as uncertainty rises, the value of a wellthought-out, but static, enterprise strategy drops. In fact, when pursuing entirely new business models, no amount of research can resolve the critical unknowns. All that strategy can do is give you a good starting point. From there, you must experiment, learn, and adapt. (Govindarajan and Trimble, 2004). However, for a proven business, strategy implementation is about performing at or above known...
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