August 2011 | Management
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Larry Hrebiniak, Associate Professor of Management, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; author, Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change.
Increase your organization’s execution success rate by improving knowledge sharing.
It doesn’t matter how good your strategy is if it’s not implemented effectively. And yet many senior managers, even when faced with poor results, continue to address execution with the same ineffective methods.
In surveys conducted by Wharton management professor Larry Hrebiniak, executives identified the greatest obstacles to execution. Not surprisingly, “poor or inaccurate information sharing” was near the top of the list. As strategic initiatives become more complex, involving greater numbers of people across functions, SBUs, or geographical locations, the need to coordinate and cooperate is imperative.
Hrebiniak notes that while most organizations use formal methods for fostering communication and coordination (such as IT systems, designated integrators, and formal databases), these methods, while necessary, often fall short. He identifies informal forces that play a powerful role in determining strategic outcomes. When you harness the power of these forces, implementation and performance will improve.
While not all steps are possible for all managers, taking action on even one of the following will improve knowledge sharing and, in turn, strategic and operating outcomes. The more steps you take, the greater the cooperation and coordination results will be.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools Academic Director, Professor Adam Grant.
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