Saturday, February 25, 2012

Converting Strategy Into Action

The Stanford University - Center For Professional Development recently invited me to participate in their course named "Converting Strategy Into Action". Since I am working on multiple projects with the new colleagues from SuccessFactors, I thought it might be a good opportunity to go back and revisit some of the core concepts of execution. I accepted their invitation. It was a good experience.

Image from scpd.stanford.edu


I had an opportunity to listen to Prof. Raymond E. Levitt and share some of my experiences with him. He discussed the origins of planning and execution and shared many stories from his days working on large mission critical construction projects. He also touched upon a case study of agile development at Salesforce.com. One particularly interesting conversation was about how execution is moving from a 1.0 world to a 2.0 world. I also got to listen to some war stories from colleagues who work at Intuit, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, and BMC Software.

The Culture Egg
One of the concepts that stuck in my mind was the culture egg of a company. I came away wondering about these things. What kind of a culture egg does SAP have? What kind of a culture egg is required for a company to be a differentiator vs a cost leader. Is it possible for a company to have multiple dominant cultures? Will major acquisitions alter the culture egg of a company significantly?

I am definitely going to use this concept when I look for my next project or next job. I think it is also possible to predict the success or failure of a company's strategy by looking at its culture egg.

From the course material provided by SCPD

If you would like to get a taste of this program, the book 'Executing Your Strategy - How to break it down and Get It Done" is a good guide.



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