Nearly Half of Strategic Managers Report Need for Both Game Changing Innovation and Incremental Improvement at Strategic Execution Conference

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A survey of attendees at the recent Strategic Execution Conference in Burlingame, CA highlighted the common executional challenges faced by today’s global organizations. The conference was presented by IPS Learning and the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD).

Attendees Shared Insights and Solutions to Biggest Strategic Challenges

A survey of attendees at the recent Strategic Execution Conference in Burlingame, CA highlighted the common executional challenges faced by today’s global organizations. In response to the survey, close to 46 percent of attendees reported that today’s organization must achieve both game changing innovation and incremental improvement in order to ensure long-term success.

“Our attendees and speakers come from many different kinds of companies across myriad of vertical industries, and yet their challenges in terms of strategic execution within their organizations are remarkably similar overall,” said Tim Wasserman, Chief Learning Officer with IPS Learning and Program Director, Stanford Advanced Project Management Program. “As attendees and presenters shared their successes and failures around strategic execution throughout the event, in our classrooms and via our online communities, we see clearly that it is very common for organizations to struggle with executing a strategy to bring their innovative ideas to light.”

Key findings from the survey included:

  • The biggest immediate strategic execution challenges reported were cultural alignment to organizational strategy (22.86 percent) and organization alignment (17.14 percent).
  • Longer term, attendees reported they face the challenges of being asked to manage without authority (20 percent) and to transform how project-based work is executed within the organization (22.86 percent). Cultural (20 percent) and organizational (14.29 percent) alignment were cited also as long term issues faced on the job.
  • When asked what external factors represented the greatest challenge to strategic execution efforts, 15 percent of attendees pointed separately to global distributed work teams, slow economic recovery of Western economies and an increasing rate of change.
  • Open-ended questions revealed that the shift to mobile is a growing consideration among the organizations represented at the event. And, there was some indication of an evolving philosophical movement that is leading businesses away from purely competitive thinking and more toward collaborative, creative thinking.

Under the theme of “Linking Strategy to Execution through Innovative Techniques,” attendees were largely comprised of executives and strategic managers from major high-tech and innovative organizations worldwide. Approximately 70 percent of attendees were current students or graduates of the Stanford Center for Professional Development’s (SCPD) Stanford Advanced Project Management (SAPM) program which teaches via real-life applications that inspire forward-thinking leaders to transform the way they think, lead and execute.

The survey was conducted following the Strategic Execution Conference to gauge immediate reaction to the conference programming. IPS Learning achieved a 10.7 percent response rate from attendees to the onsite poll.

To learn more about the conference or the SAPM program, visit http://www.executionconference.com. The SAPM program is available to individuals through the Stanford Center for Professional Development or for organizational groups through IPS Learning. Visit apm.stanford.edu for more details or email strategy(at)executionconference(dot)com to sign up for information on future events.

About IPS Learning

IPS Learning offers an unparalleled educational experience that combines the academic excellence of the Stanford Center for Professional Development’s (SCPD) Stanford Advanced Project Management (SAPM) program with real-life applications that inspire forward-thinking leaders to transform the way they think, lead and execute. IPS teaches people and organizations to achieve better results through tighter strategic alignment, stronger team engagement and exacting execution, resulting in growth through smart innovation and change. For more information, visit http://www.ipslearning.com.

About the Stanford Center for Professional Development

The Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) connects working professionals worldwide to the research and teaching of Stanford University faculty in the School of Engineering and related academic departments. Qualified individuals may study for master of science degrees on a part-time basis, pursue graduate and professional certificates, take individual graduate and professional courses, participate in workshops, view free online seminars and more. Courses are delivered online, on the Stanford campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, and at the work site. For more information visit: scpd.stanford.edu.

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J. Scott Punk
IPS Learning
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