Strategy to Results: Connecting Strategy and Performance Management


Great strategies do not automatically lead to great results. Execution is the bridge that connects strategy to result.

“A half-baked strategy well executed will be superior to that marvellous strategy that isn’t executed very well.”        – Allan Gilmour, Ford Motor Company

That’s how critical strategy execution can be for performance management. But managing strategy execution effectively is the single biggest challenge organizations face on their way to consistent performance, as we discussed here.

Many users believe that automating strategy and performance management can make a huge difference in the quality of strategy execution, and the right tools can certainly open up a world of possibilities for bringing an organization together around their goals. But getting the right strategy and enterprise performance management solution is only the beginning. In order to consistently deliver excellence, organizations must learn how to use the solution to its full potential.

Best practices suggest that getting a performance management practice right calls for three elements:

  1. Placing strategy at the center of the performance management system
  2. Creating a performance management cycle
  3. Supporting the evolution of strategy and performance

Becoming a strategy-focused organization

Organizations must evolve into “strategy-focused organizations,” where the strategic plan is at the heart of every decision. To achieve this, organizations must:

  1. Mobilize from the top: Facilitate organizational changes through the executive leadership
  2. Operationalize strategy: Translate strategy into operational terms by defining strategy maps, creating the balanced scorecards, establishing targets, and defining initiatives
  3. Align all organizational units–internal teams, external partners, and the board–with the strategy, so that every unit is working towards the same end result
  4. Make strategy everyone’s job: Empower employees by making their impact on strategic success clear at every level
  5. Maintenance: Understand that executing on strategy is an ongoing process, and requires constant communication, collaboration, coaching, and refining along the way

Creating a Performance Management Cycle

In order to be successful in strategy execution, organizations need to ensure that their performance management system is sustained by a cycle of integrated planning, organizational alignment, human capital alignment, continuous improvement, analysis, and review.

Once organizations see the connection between the performance management system and the performance management cycle, they will have the understanding necessary to make full use of their strategy and performance management solution. If the cycle sustains the system, the solution drives the cycle. In fact, the solution becomes the engine of every organization’s performance management journey.

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