Leadership Blog

Why Is It Not Working?!

Posted on January 31, 2014 | in Leadership & Management | by

“Our leaders are saying the right things but why is it not working?  It seems to get lost in execution!” … A comment from my friend Tom about deploying strategy.  Tom continued, “I know they want to do it right, but they just can’t make the actions match the words.”

Once a leader communicates the strategic plan to the organization, a deliberate and rigorous management method must be followed for strategy to be understood and deployed successfully.  However, knowing that most leaders are not perfect communicators and those being led are not perfect listeners, it is not surprising when execution is less than perfect.  Assuming the strategy is correct, the FrontLine Focus prism (Focus, Follow-Up, Innovation, Culture) is a good method to frame the strategic plan and increase the probability of successful execution:

FrontLine Focus PRISM

FrontLine Focus PRISM

  • Focus defines specifically where the team concentrates to get results.  Focus includes such variables as the plan, objectives, metrics, behavior, projects, barriers, and more.  The team understands the focus intimately because the leader repeats key messages.  The focus must be constant and tri-focal (short, mid, and long term).
  • Follow-Up is systematically checking the frontline to know the reality of the situation, knowing if progress meets your expectations, and then, making adjustments.  Follow-up checks your leadership effectiveness, ensuring that you are understood, and that you are doing what you say you are doing.  Being disciplined with follow-up systems on the frontlines dramatically increases the probability of successfully executing strategy.
  • Innovation is the ticket to the future.  It is the relentless pursuit of improved ways of doing business through new technologies, products, and practices.  Innovation best works when deeply embedded within a culture where a healthy tension stimulates a constant search.
  • Culture is who the team is, defined by its values, purpose, beliefs, relationships, instincts, the team’s DNA… culture is like “the force” that naturally moves the team.  A leader is constantly building the culture to the next desired state.

Focus, Follow-Up, Innovation, Culture… This week, check to see if your personal management methods include all of these factors to successfully bridge Strategy to Execution.

… And “Pass It On!”


Quote from General George Patton: “Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.”

General Patton, Strategist, on the Frontlines observing reality.

General Patton, Strategist, on the Frontlines observing reality.

© 2014 FrontLine Focus

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