CEOS Make ‘Strong Execution’ High Priority In 2007

As CEOs develop their growth strategies for 2007, a top priority focuses on the strong execution of all major business processes, according to the Grant Thornton LLP Survey of U.S. Business Leaders, 14th Edition. Almost two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) say they are putting more emphasis on strong execution today than a year ago.

More than eight out of 10 (83 percent) survey respondents place the quality of execution throughout the organization among their top three priorities.

“The CEO must be the spokesperson for the power of execution, especially regarding how it impacts the customer’s experience with the organization’s products or services,” said Thomas Rotherham, Grant Thornton’s U.S. managing partner of client services. “The CEO is also tasked with establishing the quality of execution as an important element of the strategic business agenda and communicating with the entire organization about the challenges to be faced and actions to be taken.”

Business leaders recognize that special challenges must be faced to achieve strong execution. Half of the respondents find that putting the right leaders in place (50 percent) and getting everyone in the company moving in the same direction (47 percent) can be a major challenge. Other challenges include putting the right skill set in place (40 percent), instilling the passion to execute well (36 percent), and making it simpler for people to execute (31 percent).

“For employees to understand their role in executing the company’s strategy, communication needs to be frequent and pervasive throughout the organization,” said Rotherham. “This includes dedicated communications aimed at instilling a sense of unity around what the company is and where it is going.”

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