How To Stress-Test Your Strategy by Robert Simons

YouTube Video Discussion Board

How To Stress-Test Your Strategy by Robert Simons

The short video by Robert Simons explains how organizations can make their business strategy stronger and ready to respond to any economic shocks in the environment. Stress-testing strategy refers to assessments of how the organization may function under severe conditions. Robert Simons establishes seven critical questions that all business leaders should be able to ask and answer. Ability to answer these questions is an indication that the business has a strong and efficient strategy. The first question that business executives must consider concerns identification of the primary customers. The business should allocate all available resources to satisfy the needs of the primary customers. The second question involves which group of stakeholders the organization prioritizes. According to Robert Simons, an organization may choose to prioritize employees, shareholders, or even customers. There is no better choice in this case. However, the company should ensure they communicate who comes first. Another question that executives must consider is the type of performance metrics they chose to track. Business organizations should focus on establishing a few but effective performance metrics.

Executing With Strategic Speed by Ed Boswell

Ed Boswell introduces an interesting observation concerning strategic initiatives. He notes that only 30 percent of the strategic initiatives actually succeed. A fundamental highlight of the video is that speed and execution are critical in determining the success of a strategy. One of the major mistakes that executives make during strategy implementation is that they spend much time focusing on speed, rather than actual implementation. Another mistake is that most companies focus on reengineering processes, which is not enough when there are serious problems. During the reengineering process, organizations may focus on technology, streamlining processes, and on other tasks. However, executives overlook the people factor, which is the most important in this case. The people factor has three important elements: clarity, unity, and agility. Clarity involves ensuring that all stakeholders understand the direction that the company is taking. Unity involves ensuring that all stakeholders have bought into the idea or process. Agility is the ability to make changes or adjustments when necessary.


How to Stress-Test Your Strategy – Robert Simons – Professor (Harvard Business School) (10:16)

Video #1

Executing With Strategic Speed – Ed Boswell (President & CEO of the Forum Corporation) (9:44)

Video #2

HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Strategy – Reflective Summary