Book: Turning strategy into results with 'The Execution Advantage'

11 December 2023 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

Seasoned management consultant and author Alexander Loudon has published ‘The Execution Advantage,’ a new book which spells out how organisations can turn their ambitions into tangible results.

While many organisations may be able to develop viable strategies, few end up reaping the benefits in the real world. According to research presented by Loudon in his book, only 15% of companies succeed in realising two-thirds or more of their strategic objectives.

The strategy-to-execution gap is notoriously complex and one of the toughest challenges for top management. Harvard Business Review for instance recently reported that employees at three out of five companies rate themselves as ‘weak’ at execution.

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In today’s fast-paced world, executing strategies swiftly is the ultimate competitive advantage. Rapid changes like generative AI and a complex stakeholder landscape demand quick decisions and agile delivery.

“Traditional approaches to strategy implementation no longer suffice. We must adapt to faster planning cycles, thinking in quarters instead of years. It’s about empowering teams with the freedom to deliver – a true ‘license to get things done’, said Loudon.

So how can companies then join the 15% club? Loudon discovered a pattern in what companies that excel at execution do differently. “They acknowledge that humans do not always act rationally, and that each organisation is unique. Their workforce turns strategy into results through focus, collaboration, and discipline,” he explained.

According to the author, ‘The Execution Advantage’ is a no-nonsense and start-to-finish guide for strategy execution full of tools, checklists, and real-world inspiration from Ikea to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“It provides a holistic approach combining ‘hard’ factors, such as resource allocation, with ‘soft’ factors, such as team effectiveness. It empowers leaders to take action confidently while boosting their company’s strategy execution. This will help them outperform their peers and foster increased employee engagement, unlocking the full potential of their organisation.”

Having hit the bookshelves, ‘The Execution Advantage’ has received early praise from high-profile management experts.

Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School, said: ”A winning strategy in business today is no longer a noun; it is a verb. Flexibility and learning are keys to success in an uncertain world, which means shorter planning cycles, more experimentation, more honest reflection, and more frequent pivots. This marvellous and useful guide can help you implement the mindset and practices you need to get started.”

Annemieke Roobeek, Professor of Strategy and Transformation Management at Nyenrode Business University, stated: “I endorse ‘The Execution Advantage’ for pinpointing the most important ingredients for the success of a strategy: the involvement and engagement of people throughout the organisations in the ecosystem. The how-to, pragmatic and human approach of this book with an easy-to-follow strategy framework makes it a must-read for those that make strategy happen and enjoy the process to get it done collaboratively.”

About Alexander Loudon

An international strategy consultant with over 15 years of experience, Alexander Loudon collaborates with leaders and their teams to transform strategies into tangible outcomes. He has worked with renowned organisations like Arla Foods, Korn Ferry, TotalEnergies, and Vodafone. He previously authored two widely acclaimed management books, ‘Webs of Innovation’ and ‘More Sales, Same People,’ published in multiple languages.