When the world around you is changing rapidly, acknowledging and incorporating strategic changes will allow your company to keep its competitive edge. 

Business goals can feel like New Year’s resolutions—here today, full of conviction and enthusiasm, but gone tomorrow. In a time in which AI, world economics, federal monetary policy change, and customer preferences change rapidly, it can appear our goals aren’t relevant. Sometimes, even fresh from your annual planning, the goals can seem outdated, elusive, or beside the point and irrelevant. However, instead of ditching or ignoring the plan, consider a different approach that allows you to consider external and internal influences and continue your company journey.

Journeys are not straight lines, and companies are no different. Like a journey, you might need to take a few routes to achieve your goals or bring in added resources to support you. This is where strategic execution comes into play.

Defining strategic execution:

Strategic execution delivers on your company promise through deliberate, planned action while allowing flexibility to leverage new inputs, data, and customer needs.

Simply put, strategic execution is being mindful of what’s happening “out there” to change what’s happening “in here” so that your company continues to create the value your customers expect.

Strategic execution in action:

A company completes its annual plan with better-defined three and one-year goals. However, as they begin to develop their quarterly plan, they realize the importance of keeping the one-year goal in sight. What’s missing is customer feedback, which, up to that point, had not been measured consistently. Concern surfaces that without this data, strategic decisions are open to assumptions. Priority is then placed on gathering this information to inform the strategic direction of the company better.


A distribution company develops proprietary software that enables it to improve service response 50% better than its competitors. In seeking customer adoption of its software, the company sought to sell to similar companies. After receiving feedback from these potential customers, it altered its course to work with complementary providers to integrate the software to bring a more comprehensive solution to the marketplace. The goals of market adoption are the same—the how to get there has changed—and with gathering external inputs, the company is in a much better competitive position.

A step-by-step guide to implementing strategic execution:

  • On an ongoing basis, gather inputs essential for your company to know. Examples include:
    • Competitive landscape
    • Customer feedback
    • Business trends
    • Internal KPI’s


  • Quarterly, have your team discuss the data collected. Be sure to evaluate the following:
    • How does this data impact our 1-, 5- and 10-year goals?
    • Does anything need to change?
    • If we don’t do anything, what will happen?
    • Given this information, will our customers continue to buy our service/product?


  • Propose changes and pressure test their validity.
    • Is this action necessary? If so, when?
    • What do we need to give up to implement this new change?
    • What are the consequences if we do not implement this change?
    • What are the opportunity costs if we go in this direction?


  • When a decision is made to pivot, add, or delete strategic plan elements, communicate, communicate, communicate!
    • Make the reasons for the change clear.
    • Communicate the anticipated impact, both internally and externally.
    • Incorporate changes into the business goals/plan.
    • Express the vision and the path to achieving the vision often.

Strategic execution must start with collecting external data to inform your internal plans and goals.  Putting systems in place to collect this information objectively will support better, more timely decisions for your company.

Align on your strategy

At 4A Ventures, we provide the advice, access, accountability, and action you need to turn your long-term goals into an actionable, offensive strategy.