Boswell isn’t the average CEO—he does have some formal business education, but his academic background also includes a Master’s and Ph.D. in psychology. He’s the quintessential integrative thinker, which shines through in Strategic Speed: Mobilizing People, Accelerate Execution.
His research shows only 30% of strategic initiatives have been successfully executed over the last twenty years—a problem largely attributed to one common missing ingredient: “the people factor.” He delineates the people factor into three critical components:
- Clarity: shared understanding of what the new strategy is all about or what the initiative is trying to accomplish
- Unity: everyone is whole-heartedly committed to achieving those goals and working together
- Agility: an organization’s flexibility to fine-tune, tweak, or even change the strategic plan if conditions require
The research further suggests the people factor—when combined with an attention to pace and attention to process—is the path to strategic speed and successful execution.
The bottom line is that executing strategy is hard, and executing in the public education sector is harder. Sometimes leaders must step back, reassess, and simplify. Remember, platitudes and complex, jargon-filled documents don’t move organizations forward. People do.