Without effective execution, no business strategy can succeed. Unfortunately, most managers know far more about developing strategy than about executing it -- and overcoming the difficult political and organizational obstacles that stand in their way. In this book, leading consultant and Wharton professor Lawrence Hrebiniak offers the first comprehensive, disciplined process model for making strategy work in the real world. Drawing on his unsurpassed experience, Hrebiniak shows why execution is even more important than many senior executives realize, and sheds powerful new light on why businesses fail to deliver on even their most promising strategies. Next, he offers a systematic roadmap for execution that encompasses every key success factor: organizational structure, coordination, information sharing, incentives, controls, change management, culture, and the role of power and influence in your business. Making Strategy Work concludes with a start-to-finish case study showing how to use Hrebeniak's ideas to address one of today's most difficult business execution challenges: ensuring the success of a merger or acquisition.
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From Kirkus Reports, February 10, 2005 Volume 2, Issue 1
Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change
By: Lawrence G. Hrebiniak
Publisher: Wharton School Publishing
Pub Date: January 2005
In what could be an excellent companion piece to either branding book mentioned this month, Wharton professor Hrebiniak deconstructs the grand theories and explores what it takes to work in the real world. He starts by discussing what doesn’t work–when managers dream up ambitious scenarios but leave the execution to their underlings, things are bound to go wrong. In other words: formula is easy; execution is hard. Ownership, according to Hrebiniak, is the key to success, and he moves clearly through the many steps of taking strategy from the theoretical to the concrete. There are sections devoted to all the common pitfalls: information sharing, providing appropriate incentives, and managing culture change. Case studies of big corporations and the challenges they met or flubbed provide a real-world look at the stakes involved. The author also provides an examination of power and influence as they relate to execution, and a section that demonstrates how his theories could be applied to recent M&As. In all, a mercifully cut-and-dry, clear-eyed view of one way in which businesses can succeed or fail.
About the Author
Dr. Lawrence Hrebiniak is a professor in the Department of Management of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Wharton faculty since 1976, and currently teaches courses in strategic management and strategy implementation in the Wharton M.B.A. and Executive Education programs. He held several managerial positions in industry prior to entering academia, and is a past president of the Organization Theory Division of the Academy of Management. For over two years, he was one of five Wharton faculty providing commentaries on the Wharton Management Report, a daily program on the Financial News Network.
His consulting activities and executive development programs focus on strategy implementation, the formulation of strategy, and organizational design, both inside and outside the U.S. Dr. Hrebiniak's clients have included Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Chemical Bank, Isuzu (Japan), Weyerhauser, Dun & Bradstreet, DuPont, Management Centre (Europe), the Social Security Administration, First American Bankshares, General Motors (U.S., Brazil, Japan, Venezuela), Chase Manhattan, Studio Amrosetti (Milan), and GE.
Dr. Hrebiniak's current research is concerned primarily with strategy implementation, especially the relationships among strategy, structure and performance. He is also interested in strategic adaptation as organizations change over time to remain competitive. He has authored four books, including Implementing Strategy (PHPTR 1984) and The We-Force in Management (Jossey-Bass, Inc. 1994).
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