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Meet the team

Ivarson

Joakim Ivarson

Custom Field

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Date

20 November

Sweden

E: jivarson@deloitte.se
M: +46 (75) 246 22 94

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We caught up with Joakim in the Stockholm office to discuss why firms struggle to get the full impact from their strategies and what can be done to overcome the execution barrier

  • Joakim, why do so many firms struggle to get value from their strategy efforts? “The biggest challenge lies in delivering on lofty plans. Executing on strategy is notoriously difficult, but what is often misunderstood is that the challenge does not begin after the strategy is handed over to the implementation team. It starts already in the strategy formulation process, which must be informed by an execution mind set. Impactful strategies are not 300-page idea decks, but pragmatic and focused plans to achieve specific outcomes. What really matters is the impact that is created, all too often valuable time and resources are invested to develop strategy documents that end up collecting dust on a bookshelf. And an execution mind set pays off, research indicates that good implementers realize twice the value of their prioritized opportunities than poor implementers.”
  • What are some of the central questions your clients are struggling with? “There are a lot of hurdles to overcome but some of the key aspects of good strategy that our clients struggle with are developing focused, actionable and committed strategic plans. Management must resist the urge to do everything and instead make some tough choices to prioritize the must-win battles in which to disproportionally invest for the future. Secondly, these must be actionable in the sense that they are viable and practicable so that they can realistically be expected to deliver on their expected benefits. That’s not the same as saying there is no room for calculated risk and big strategic bets, but rather ensure that the organisation can deliver proposed initiatives. Another crucial aspect is driving the process in a way that creates alignment and ownership among the management team, with clear lines of accountability for the targets in the plan that enables effective benefits tracking.”
  • Tell us of a recent project where you helped a client solve these challenges? “I recently worked with a technology firm on behalf of their new private equity owner to support the management team and board in creating a strategic plan focused on growth. Putting these aspects into practice, we developed a strategic plan rooted in pragmatism with distributed and committed ownership to operational plans and targets developed by management team members. Supplemented by a frequent but lean follow-up program, the strategy has (so far) been delivering expected results.”