Skip to main content
Strategic Execution
4.5-Day Program

Strategic Execution

Connecting the dots and closing the gaps between strategy and execution

View session dates

Strategic Execution

About the program

Great execution starts with strategy: knowing what your strategy is, ensuring it’s a good one, doing and understanding the details, and translating desire and what’s ‘on paper’ into impactful action.  

Not every strategy is ‘fit for purpose’ with respect to execution. Many execution challenges can be traced back directly to challenges on the strategy and strategic plan front: lack of clarity, poor communication, cumbersome plans, ill-thought-out dependencies, insufficient resources and the list goes on.

This program will enable you to thoroughly interrogate the fitness of your current strategy with respect to its potential for execution success.

In this program, you will learn to:

  • Prioritize your vision and strategy on what is important right now
  • Differentiate vertical and horizontal execution and best practices for integrating them
  • Connect strategy and execution with key decision making
  • Understand the value of execution and how it differs from strategic planning
  • Diagnose your execution barriers and measure execution performance
  • Identify and prepare for the opportunities and challenges in a changing business environment

In this program, you will have an opportunity to use your organization’s existing strategy and strategic plan as the basis for applying the tools and identifying opportunities to make both better. More importantly, you will use a gap analysis tool to identify specific actions you might need to undertake to close any gaps and/or analyze any barriers to execution that might need time and attention.

Today, fewer than half of organizations declare they are successful at achieving strategic objectives, whereas 30 years ago, the success rate was 90%. What’s changed? And more importantly, how can you beat the odds to move beyond planning and actually make things happen?

Most leaders agree that the environment is increasingly challenging to navigate, but there’s more to it than that. Organizations have become enamoured with planning without equal emphasis on the execution of the resulting strategy.

This program instills a new mindset surrounding strategic execution - a complex organizational capability that can be measured and managed as a core competency. You will learn to drive results by establishing a comprehensive strategic execution plan and leave the program prepared to establish a significant competitive advantage by turning best-laid plans into real business results.

Available via live, in-person delivery

Attend the program in an immersive, in-person environment at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre, located in Kingston, Ontario and adjacent to the Queen's University campus.

Who should attend

This program is designed for leaders and business professionals in all functional areas who are charged with executing elements of the company’s strategic plan. The program is specifically designed for leaders and managers directly responsible for delivering key performance outcomes, increasing organizational profitability, and eager to learn about modern methods for enhancing productivity, minimizing waste, and improving the strategic execution culture of the organization.

PMI logo

For participants who are already Project Management Professional (PMP) certified, 15 Category B Professional Development Units (15 PDUs) will be earned by completing this program.

HRPA logo

Queen’s Strategic Execution is also designated as an approved HRPA continuing professional development activity.

Discounts Available

Registered Charities

Queen’s Executive Education is pleased to offer a limited number of discounted seats in every program to employees of Canadian registered charities. Check your eligibility to receive a registered charity discount

Volume Discounts

Queen’s Executive Education is pleased to offer a 15% discount for organizations that pre-pay for five or more seats on any of our programs within a 12-month period. Check your eligibility to receive a volume discount

Digital credential for Strategic Execution

A Recognized Symbol of Excellence

Participants who complete the program earn the Strategic Execution digital badge credential.

Personal Benefits

  • Shift your mindset for execution from tactics to an organizational leadership capability
  • Enhance critical thinking skills needed to execute complex strategies
  • Increase the success of corporate initiatives and projects
  • Develop and tune process planning and optimization skills, freeing up organizational resources
  • Recognize the constraints and challenged resources conditions blocking value creation and understand new ways to improve those conditions
  • Learn how to recognize the need for change in your organization or department
  • Blend the art and science of decision-making into a practical process

Organizational Benefits

  • Improve your organization’s effectiveness to drive results by creating a comprehensive strategic execution plan
  • Measure execution key performance indicators (KPIs) at your organization using a proprietary diagnostic tool and also identify your most salient execution barriers
  • Learn how to improve collaboration across organizational silos
  • Realign priorities in an environment of resource limitations
  • Build a sense of evolving customer needs and economic conditions toward developing an organization that is well-prepared for the next "normal"
  • Enable operations more effectively in challenged conditions
  • Be better positioned for successful change initiatives
  • Make effective decisions in uncertain and risky environments

Program Content

The program leverages the educational power of multiple teaching tools, including class discussions, interactive activities, and an exchange of ideas and perspectives with faculty and fellow participants. You will also have the benefit of using a proprietary assessment tool that quantifies the Cost of Execution (COEx) or 'drag' on execution performance and compares it to other organizations in your industry.

Days 1 & 2:

Creating the Strategic Plan for Change

  • Correctly diagnose your specific change challenge
  • Design your planning process to maximize buy-in to and understanding of the changes you need to make
  • Create an executable game plan, one that drives accountability, effort, and results
  • Align resources and activities to demonstrable and tangible outcomes

Establishing the Winning Conditions for Success

  • Use project management techniques and discipline to enable implementation
  • Communicate your ‘change’ story
  • Understand what it takes to effectively lead change efforts
  • Create speed and establish momentum around change efforts
  • Leverage the ‘human flywheel’ to its fullest

Day 3:

Strategy Integration - The Starting Gate to Execution 

  • Shift your mindset on what execution means in the context of strategy
  • Unpack execution as a complex organizational leadership capability and discuss how practices such as agile, balanced scorecard, and lean management enable execution
  • Differentiate between short-term and long-term approaches to execution
  • Discuss common barriers that get in the way of driving performance

Exercise: Built to Execute

  • Introduce a way to more holistically ‘measure’ execution so you can ‘manage’ it
  • Prioritize key barriers standing in the way of your execution improvement plan
  • Uncover modern approaches to improving your execution capability
  • Develop a personal action plan to remove execution barriers for a project or initiative you are working on

Day 4:

Lean & Enabling Execution - Prioritizing and Allocating Resources

  • Reflect on the true abundance of resources that exist within your organization
  • Discuss how a lack of focus on important initiatives is often the execution bottleneck that requires the most attention
  • Learn the fundamentals of 'Lean' and optimization, including methods to prioritize scarce resources against your organization's most important strategic objectives

Tactical Execution - Selling the Plan and Aligning the Organization

  • Connect your organization's strategy and vision to specific projects and the work that creates long-term value
  • Learn how to align specific projects to measurable, attainable goals
  • Discuss how to ensure execution continues even in changing and unpredictable environments

Day 5:

Strategic Decision Making - Using Analysis and Intuition to Avoid Common Biases  

  • Learn how to analyze uncertain and complex industry and business environments, and discuss the risks of under- and over-analysis
  • Study the role of intuition and judgment in strategic decision making, as well as look at inherent biases and traps in such approaches
  • Through case study discussion, analyze decision making situations, and evaluate feasible alternatives and criteria
  • Learn how to blend the art and science of decision making into a practical framework for solving strategic problems
  • Consider barriers and bottlenecks that can bog down decision processes, and discuss approaches for improving the efficiency and quality of organizational decision making

In-Person Learning

Learn alongside fellow participants from across the country, discovering best practices that span industries and sectors.

Our in-person programs include classroom learning sessions led by award-winning Smith School of Business professors and industry experts. Practice new skills in breakout sessions, projects and simulations, and apply your learning toward real-world case studies.

Queen’s Health and Safety protocols for in-person programs are evolving and may change by the program date. View the Respiratory Illness Information (COVID-19) (opens in a new tab).

Kingston - Donald Gordon Conference Centre

The Donald Gordon Conference Centre combines the amenities of a full service conference and event centre with the elegance and charm of Kingston’s historic limestone architecture.

Our conference and meeting rooms have been designed to create a comfortable and relaxed working environment, and private guest rooms offer a broad range of amenities.

Session Leaders

Session leaders include senior professors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

A world in which technology enables businesses to prosper, employees to thrive, and a culture for driving results to flourish is the vision behind Kathryn Brohman’s thought leadership in sustainable execution.

An Associate professor at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Kathryn has co-authored several books that focus on how today’s organizations can navigate business practices to drive short-term results without compromising long-term success. Her most recent book entitled SHIFT: A New Mindset for Sustainable Execution presents results from her work with over 750+ organizations that helped translate strategy into action. The book provides a pragmatic approach to identifying salient execution barriers, filling gaps to stabilize an execution backbone, and removing distractions to seamlessly adapt to change.

Since arriving at Queen’s University in 2003, Kathryn has pioneered programs in Strategy Execution and Digital Transformation across MBA and executive programs. She has worked with hundreds of organizations in North America to translate strategy into action. Kathryn has received multiple funding grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as well as the Ontario Research Foundation and published her work in premier journals including MIS Quarterly, Decision Sciences, Harvard Business Review, MIS Quarterly Executive, and Communications of the ACM.

Barry Cross is an expert and thought leader in innovation, execution and operations strategy. He joined Smith School of Business after nearly 20 years in the automotive and manufacturing sectors with Magna Autosystems and DuPont, where he led many key strategic initiatives, including nearly 30 program launches in North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Barry speaks and consults widely in the areas of Lean Innovation, Strategy, Projects and Execution, enabling organizations to create sustainable value for their customers. He is the bestselling author of three books, including Simple: Killing Complexity for a Lean and Agile Organization, and several Most Read articles.

Salman is an Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at Smith School of Business.  He is an award-winning teacher and has extensive domestic and international teaching experience in both degree and non-degree executive education. He is a former Director of Smith's Executive MBA and Full-time MBA programs and former Executive Director of Queen's Executive Education. He regularly advises senior managers in corporations and the public sector, and is frequently featured in the press on matters relating to managerial decision making and technology strategy.  He has consulted with numerous organizations including Bell Canada, Sun Life Insurance, Canadian National Railway, Accenture, and Business Development Bank of Canada.

Elspeth Murray has served as the Associate Dean - MBA and Master’s Programs from 2012-2022 and has been a professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business since 1996. She also holds the CIBC Fellowship in Entrepreneurship, and founded Smith's Centre for Business Venturing. She is the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Impact. Prior to joining Smith, she worked in industry for 7 years for several firms including IBM, and Canadian Tire. As an integral part of her work in the strategy and new venture fields, Dr. Murray specializes in the management of change. In 2002, she co-authored a best-selling book, Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days, Oxford University Press, with Dr. Peter Richardson. She has recently co-developed (with Dr. David Saunders) the Analytics Climate Assessment Tool (ACAT), which is used to assess organizations technological capacity, skill sets, and analytics culture. Current research is focused on best practices in leading and managing change to create an analytics culture.

Dr. Murray teaches on many MBA and Executive Education programs, and consults widely with a diversity of firms including BMW, Detour Gold, Wawanesa Insurance, Versacold Logistics and the Auditor General for Canada. She serves as a Director for several firms and is an advisor to several start-ups and CEO's. Dr. Murray received an undergraduate degree in computer science and mathematics, and an MBA, both from Queen's University. Her doctorate in Strategy and Management Information Systems was completed at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Upcoming Sessions

Session Date May 13 to 17, 2024 View detailed schedule
Location Kingston , ON , Canada Donald Gordon Conference Centre
421 Union Street
Program Fees $10,500 CAD (plus applicable taxes) What's included?
Session Date Nov 11 to 15, 2024 View detailed schedule
Location Kingston , ON , Canada Donald Gordon Conference Centre
421 Union Street
Program Fees $10,500 CAD (plus applicable taxes) What's included?

Get Notified of Upcoming Sessions

Sign up to be notified when new dates are posted.

Be the first to hear about webinars, resources and new programs

We are currently offline. Our business hours are Monday to Friday 8AM to 4PM EST.

Leave a message