Every CEO must simultaneously develop strategy and drive execution and the need to do both at once has never been more urgent. As we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, companies will need to drive short-term results while also rethinking strategy amid seismic shifts in competitive environments and ways of working. It’s not strategy vs. execution; it’s strategy and execution with the right balance in the right time frames.
While all leaders need to do this, research shows that few are good at it. This problem can be particularly acute for newly appointed CEOs, who must rapidly diagnose and address current business challenges while also laying a foundation for the future. We see many next-gen leaders who are competent at crafting strategy; they are global digital natives who rose to the top primarily by taking those big-picture roles in organizations that already run like clocks. But they lack deep operational experience and fail to realize that boards first want to see that they can run the existing business before turning to future questions.
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