Qn 1: You have organized a seminar on effective strategy formulation and execution: what is it all about?
Response by Mustapha
• Strategic planning and strategy execution are two different things. Everyone can plan, but not all plans are easy to execute. If you reviewed the manifestos of so many politicians since 1996, a lot was put on paper, but not achieved. Why? Same thing happens with companies. Great plans are laid, but all fail at execution test.
• The strategy formulation and execution seminar will focus on practical insights on the art of effective planning and execution. That is what great leaders are good at.
• You will learn about Winning The Game, a strategic approach developed by Summit Consulting Ltd, that links Playing To Win, to the Blue Ocean Strategy and the Balanced Score Card – all Harvard Business School award winning models strategy models. That balanced score card training alone costs US $5,000 for four hours. But you will get all these insights at just US $1,400, with other top CEOs at Serena for one day. And if you stay around to the end of this program, I will share a code which NTV has subsidized for her viewers by 30%. So, you only pay US $980. That is US $420 savings for watching NTV.
Qn 2: You are a known computer security and anti-fraud expert. In fact, your LinkedIn profile shows you are ethical hacker and President of Association of certified Fraud examiners Uganda Chapter. How come you will want to advise CEOs on strategy?
• Great question.
• There are two types of skills: process skills and technical skills. When you study medicine, and pass Internship or practical training you are admitted as a medical doctor in your field of specialization like Dentistry. That is a technical skill. You cannot practice as a dentist, unless you’ve the technical skills both theory and practical. The same applies to lawyers and other professions.
• However, great leaders invest in special skills that are cross cutting along all professions – like effective communication, strategy formulation and execution, budgeting, sex education, leadership and parenting. Whether you have technical skills as an engineer, doctor, accountant, teacher or politician, you need these process skills. They are the oil that sets one apart. They are the nuts and bolts of any outstanding achiever. Those without them rarely attain their full potential regardless of success in the classroom.
• Being an ethical hacker and fraud examiner, I have great technical skills. As a practice leader, I’ve realized that it is difficult to succeed, or help many people excel, if you have to do all the work by yourself. You must empower others by combining your process skills with technical skills.
• At the strategy seminar on Thursday 28th October 2015, I will share my experiences and lessons helping over 200 leaders in different African countries execute strategies. Because great leaders focus on the results, not the input. And reward behaviors that produce the desired results. You will know that strategy is a process skill any manager or board member must master, to get ahead.
Qn 3: So, what is strategy?
- Strategy is about choices a company makes to win with its customers against the competition. It is like in a football match or a political race. How do you win the match? You must do some homework on how you will win: what is the desired result? To be declared winner for MP of Hoima Municipality. What does it take to win that position? To have more than 51% of the votes cast by xxx approved voters. So, what is the best way, to have these voters select me?
- As you can see, you make a series of choices of what you can do, which also includes what you will not do. If you do not know Luganda, your chances of winning a race in Kampala is near to 0. So, it that something you can chose to do? It is up to the choices you make. And it also applies in our everyday life.
Qn 4: In your experience, why do good strategies fail to execute?
• If a strategy is good, it should be easy to execute. To execute a strategy, you need great leadership – you must align your strategy to the structure. Unfortunately, many companies are run like a riot group. Everyone is doing their own things. Different departments are not aligned. It is a challenge.
• To implement a strategy, you need great people in key positions. Most of the time, there is a skills mismatch.
• Many companies reward good performance and punish failure, which effectively kills innovation. You must reward behaviors that produce the results you need. And that way, you create a culture of innovation.
Qn 5: Why should a CEO out there attend?
• Success is about choices. Attending is a choice you are free to make. You will learn pragmatic insights to apply to your strategy execution right away.
• As pointed out, execution requires rewarding behaviors that deliver the required results. If your average annual year-on-year revenue growth is just a numerical figure of 2-5%, then you are just playing to survive. You don’t have a great strategy. You are surviving by luck. And now is your opportunity to start doing things differently.
• I will break-down the three award winning strategic models and stop wasting money in new corporate fat departments like “strategy departments.” You need a strategy champion among the EXCO members, but not a department.
• You receive a complementary CD, with a template on the Playing To Win strategic process, and an Excel template of strategic action plan, SAP worth over US $ 10,000 because that is the minimum folks charge to facilitate companies formulate their own strategic plans.