Strategy Implementation Resources

Here we have grouped together our blogs, presentations, FAQs and case studies relating to strategy implementation

Strategy Implementation

Strategy implementation is hard. Most strategy implementation projects fail. Yet implementing strategy remains one of the most important activities for an organisation to do well. 2GC has worked since it was founded in 1999 to understand more about why organisation's find strategy implementation hard, and to develop methods to help them manage this activity better.

The resources listed below all cover aspects of this challenging issue, and draw upon 2GC's deep experience of this topic area.

We also encourage you to find out more about 2GC's Strategy Implementation Services.

Blog Entry : Fire-and-forget… doesn’t work for strategy implementation

Organisations invest a lot of time and energy in developing strategies which if implemented would doubtless benefit the organisation hugely. But in our experience the focus that top managers put into developing the strategy is not matched by a similar commitment when it comes to managing its implementation.


Blog Entry : Picking measures for strategy implementation - three simple rules…

Organisations are very good at measuring things: it is hardly surprising since we have had a lot of practice - the earliest records of formalised performance measures date from over 6,500 years ago! Modern organisations are awash with measurement data, yet despite this, in the area of strategy implementation organisations struggle to get the feedback…


Consulting for Real People: A Client-Centred Approach for Change Agents and Leaders

Peter Cockman, Bill Evans, Peter Reynolds

McGraw-Hill Education / Europe, Middle East & Africa - 1998-11-16 - 256 pages

2GC Comments: This book is not directly about performance management, but is nonetheless required reading for new 2GC consultants, and a strongly recommended text for everyone else working to introduce performance management methods within an organisation. The book focuses on the challenges of introducing organisational change ‘from within’ an organisation - in particular looking at how to do this when all you can do is act as a facilitator - a common situation for those working on the introduction of performance management systems. The methods and models the book introduces are exceptionally clear in description, and efficient and effective in use.


Integrated Performance Management: A guide to strategy implementation

Kurt Verweire and Lutgart van den Berghe

SAGE Publications Ltd - 18 Dec 2004 - 320 pages

2GC Comments: Our recommended text for readers looking to gather a more in-depth understanding of the topics and issues that influence performance management system design and implementation. This book brings together contributions from a number of authors who discuss the subject from a wide range of perspectives, including consideration of financial and control issues, as well as the links between performance management and both strategic planning and human resource management. NB this book does not set out to provide practical guidance for any of these topics, but nonetheless the book provides useful background reading for those who want to understand some of…


Performance Measurement and Control Systems for Implementing Strategy Text and Cases: Pearson New International Edition

Robert Simons

Pearson - 2013-07-26 - 696 pages

2GC Comments: This book covers the topics listed in its title thoroughly and deeply, along the way presenting a highly practical approach for applying these ideas within an organisation. Nearly 700 pages - so not a casual read - but is essential reading for anyone working (or wanting to work) as a consultant or trainer in this field.Robert Simons, also published “Levers of Control”, an outstanding work on strategic control that directly influenced the development of “2nd Generation” Balanced Scorecard design methods in the late 1990s.


Presentation : Why do only one third of UK companies realise strategic success?

A survey of over 200 companies in the Times 1000 revealed that while almost all companies had a ‘strategic vision’, only one in three reported achieving ‘significant strategic success’. For many, the answer lies in the quality of the strategic management processes.


Visual Strategy: Strategy Mapping for Public and Nonprofit Organizations

John M. Bryson, Fran Ackermann, Colin Eden

John Wiley & Sons - 2014-09-12 - 240 pages

2GC Comments: A useful practical guide to how to approach the development of strategic plans using group-based consensus methods. Don’t worry about the ‘public sector and non-profit’ part of the title, this book is relevant to managers in all organisations. The methods and techniques it describes are powerful yet easy to grasp, and have much in common with methods for Balanced Scorecard design pioneered by 2GC. Although the book’s authors are all academics and the book includes discussion of some heavy-duty concepts, this short easy to read book remains both useful and accessible.


Presentation : Introduction to Strategic Performance Management

A great introductory presentation - covers the basics of Performance Management, Strategic Performance Management, and modern Balanced Scorecard design methods.


Research Paper : Improving public sector governance through better strategic management

This paper shows how an improved Balanced Scorecard design has the potential to enhance strategic management and public sector governance.


Blog Entry : How to make sure your strategy is on the road to somewhere

Strategy is about change. It describes the route an organisation needs to follow to end up in a better place. But often the nature of that ‘better place’ is unclear; if you don’t know where the strategy is taking you, the focus is on the travelling, not the arrival - it becomes a journey on a…


Blog Entry : Strategy Execution - Help or Hype?

For the last couple of years it seems like ‘Strategy Execution’ has become a more commonly used term within the broad field of strategic management. But what is Strategy Execution? Is our greater familiarity with the term because of hype, or a reflection of the popularity of a new management method? We at 2GC have been…


FAQ : How do I create a strategic Balanced Scorecard?

In developing a Balanced Scorecard the biggest challenge is deciding the most relevant measures to include - particularly for Scorecards to be used for strategic management purposes. In this FAQ, 2GC outlines the eight steps your Strategic Balanced Scorecard design and implementation process should follow, and explores how best to deliver these steps.


FAQ : What is Strategic Control?

Central to much of 2GC’s work is the idea that managers can control how an organisation pursues its strategic goals. This process of articulating and acting upon strategic goals is generally known as “Strategic Control”. Strategic Control theories have had a big influence on how strategic Balanced Scorecards are designed.


FAQ : What is ‘state-of-the-art’ Balanced Scorecard design?

Balanced Scorecard has developed from a tool for organising measures to a strategic management mechanism. It has evolved in terms of design characteristics, processes and usage patterns into what is now referred to as 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard. In this FAQ, we outline the evolution and highlight the characteristics of best practice Balanced Scorecards.


Blog Entry : What next for the Balanced Scorecard?

This question was recently posed in a blog posting by James Creelman, and has been a common question since Balanced Scorecard’s inception. Read on to find out our views - but the good news is that at least three of James’s four ‘new things’ are already established features in modern best-practice Balanced Scorecard designs. Phew!


FAQ : How can functions benefit from Balanced Scorecard?

Staff functions are often responsible for many of the corporate initiatives selected to deliver strategic objectives; yet they have limited control over the delivery. In this FAQ, 2GC looks at the extent to which 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard can enhance the ability of HR and other staff functions to manage the delivery of key strategic objectives.


FAQ : How do I develop, link and align multiple Balanced Scorecards (cascading)?

This FAQ looks at one of the most challenging issues of Balanced Scorecard implementation: Cascades OR how to develop more than one! The challenge is how to do the design quickly, efficiently, and in a way that ensures all the Balanced Scorecards are ‘aligned’ with each other and with the organisation’s goals.


Blog Entry : Getting the message across

Organisations are designed to be good at getting things done. Strategy implementation is mostly about ensuring that key strategic initiatives get done - so on the face of it organisations should be great at implementing strategy. Trouble is, they are not. 2GC’s ACME Strategy Implementation framework has been designed to fix this. In this feature we…


Case Study : Case Study 11: Zenith Systems

Cascading 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard in a small services company


Case Study : Case Study 10: PractiNet

Implementing Balanced Scorecard within a membership-based organisation


Case Study : Case Study 9: Al Khamsa

Strategic Planning at a Middle East Engineering Company: A Balanced Scorecard approach


Blog Entry : A Key to Effective Strategy Implementation

It is known that most strategic plans fail to deliver. Some of the time it is because the strategy itself is not a good one, but more often than not the reason is a bit more banal - most of the time it appears that strategic plans are simply not implemented.In this feature we…


Research Paper : Classification of Balanced Scorecard Designs based on intended use

This paper describes a classification of Balanced Scorecard designs based on intended method of use within an organisation.


Research Paper : Evolution of the 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard

This paper describes the changes to the definition of the Balanced Scorecard that have occurred since it became popular as a performance measurement framework during the early 1990s.


Research Paper : Performance Management system design in a devolved organisation

This paper is a case study exploring the design of a new performance management system for the UK Environment Agency (11,000 staff, more than 40 discrete management units).


Research Paper : Balanced Scorecard and Results-Based Management: Convergent Performance Management Systems

This paper compares and contrasts two of the most widely adopted Performance Management (PM) frameworks – Balanced Scorecard and Results-Based Management.


Blog Entry : Using Accountability to Improve Strategy Implementation

You have designed a great strategy, developed a implementation plan and put in place measures to track your progress. So why are you still struggling to implement it? Although each of the elements listed above are important, they are not enough - strategic success also relies upon your managers and staff actively engaging with the…


Research Paper : Multi-level strategic alignment within a complex organisation

The implementation of large numbers of Balanced Scorecards as part of a coordinated programme (“cascading”) has been suggested as an efficient method for implementing strategy across an organisation, but case studies of this type of strategic alignment are rare. This original research stems from a 2GC project within a large and complex multi-divisional organisation in the…


Blog Entry : Looking Forward - To Renew or To Reinvent

‚ÄčAlthough it is easy to focus on the “what” - what things look like and what they do, to understand change we also need to focus on the “why” - why things look like and do what they do. When you get the hang of it, you find this model is usefully applicable in all sorts of…


Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental and Economic Impacts

Marc J. Epstein, Adriana Rejc Buhovac

Routledge - 2014-01-31 - 324 pages

2GC Comments: An excellent introduction to the concept of sustainability within corporations. Clearly written, it sets out a practical approach for addressing the dimensions of sustainability both at the strategy formation and strategy implementation levels.2GC use the ideas in this book to guide its own work with clients to reflect sustainability concepts in our work.


Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change

Lawrence G. Hrebiniak

Pearson FT Press - 2013-06-13 - 424 pages

2GC Comments: This is an epic work from an academic who pioneered research into strategy execution long before it became ‘a thing’. An update of an earlier book (now out of print) which was a key influence on 2GC during the development of our approach to strategy implementation. The ideas contained in this book are ones that every manager concerned about strategy implementation should become familiar with.


Blog Entry : Five Steps to Achieve Strategic Success

A set of simple, practical steps that you can take to improve your strategy implementation. In March 2015 the Harvard Business Review reflects upon a weakness that runs to the heart of modern management methods - while organisations are great at coming up with strategies, they are not good at implementing them. 2GC is expert…


Blog Entry : Strategy Implementation now the dominant role for Balanced Scorecard reveals the 2GC survey!

Results from the 2GC 2014 Balanced Scorecard Usage Survey, conducted in alliance with Intrafocus, are now in!


Blog Entry : Don't just tell me what, tell me why!

Employees who clearly understand how they contribute to the achievement of a strategy are more productive: simply ensuring that they have goals that are aligned with the strategy is not enough. These are the surprising findings of a recently published research paper - ones that highlight the value of the ACME four-step strategy implementation framework


Blog Entry : Context - A Key Success Factor for Strategy Execution

For a strategy to be effective it needs to be implemented. It may sound like a statement of the obvious, yet today, 30 years after it was first flagged as an issue, successful strategy implementation eludes most organisations. In this feature we look at what the causes might be and note that working out the…