In this chapter, we take a somewhat contrarian approach and explore the value of “soft” skills—specifically, building strong relationships and communicating effectively—in driving the effective execution of strategy. We divided the chapter into five parts. First, we describe what happens with relationships and with communication that might contribute to the failure to execute business strategy. Next, we discuss why relationship and communication problems happen—including the power of organizational culture, competition among peers, the rise of cynicism, the isolation of executives, and the impact of organizational design. The third section focuses on what happens as a result of these problems. The fourth section covers the now what?—that is, recommendations for different groups on how to contribute to better execution of business strategy, including actions for leaders and individual contributors in large organizations and in start-ups, and for students and professors who teach them. Finally, we close the chapter describing the potential benefits of implementing the recommendations.
Strategic Management in the 21st Century by Timothy J. Wilkinson and Vijay R. Kannan, Editors. Copyright ©2013 by ABC-CLIO, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA.