Implementation and adaptation

Published on February 28, 2023   7 min
Hi, I'm Allen Amason and the Dean of the Parker college business at Georgia Southern University. I'm also a scholar and professor of strategic management and author of the textbook Strategic Management from theory to practice. I'm talking about implementation and adaptation.
Strategic management as a whole is a very dynamic practice and so a truly strategic manager really makes very little distinction between the formulation or development of strategy and the implementation of that strategy. In reality, strategy is what you do, that's what customers see, it's what creates culture in the organization. It is the manifest reality of the strategic intent of the company, whether it is what was originally intended or not. As a result, strategy formulation and strategy implementation are really inextricably linked together, two sides of the same coin, if you will and so a strategic manager thinks about implementation when he or she is developing or formulating strategy. Then they use the information that's learned in implementation to feed back into formulation in a very real and ongoing and continuous sense. Implementation really reflects the quality of the fit between the strategy in the organization itself.
It's said that structure follows strategy. Well the organization itself is a reflection of the strategic capabilities of the firm. The alignment between what is intended on the part of the strategy and the capabilities on the part of the firm or what determined the quality of implementation and the quality of implementation is what ultimately drives the quality of performance. Competitive advantage than can be thought of as the result of two subsequent sets of fit. How well the strategy itself fits the environment, fits the contours of the demand, fits the nature of the competitive environment, and then how well the organization itself in its structure, its skills, its staff, fits the strategy and so how well the organization, through its various operational mechanisms, can put that strategy into the application and into practice in a way that the intentions of the strategy are actually manifested and realized.