Organizational Focus

Is your organization able to get the most important things done in the midst of the ‘whirlwind’, the distractions of your day-to-day responsibilities?

Chris McChesney, author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution writes “The real enemy of execution is your day job! We call it the whirlwind. It’s the massive amount of energy that’s necessary just to keep your operation going on a day-to-day basis; and ironically, it’s also the thing that makes it so hard to execute anything new. The whirlwind robs from you the focus required to move your team forward.”


The whirlwind is alive and well in all organizations!  To ensure your company gets the most important things done requires activating the 4 disciplines of execution.


strategic planning action stratop nashville

StratOp Ensures Leadership Teams Focus On The Wildly Important

StratOp is a strategic system that helps teams clarify where they are, where they’re headed, and how they will get there. It’s used by organizations big and small, from billion-dollar global corporations to entrepreneurs and startups.  The third phase of StratOp is “Action” and ensures the strategic plan becomes reality by acting on what is most important.

How StratOp Activates The 4 Disciplines Of Execution

  • Focus on the Wildly Important: At the conclusion of the initial 3-day StratOp workshop, the team identifies the most critical strategic initiatives (What’s Important Now – WIN initiatives) necessary to improve business results over the coming year.  
  • Act on the Lead Measures: During the initial 3-day StratOp a Strategic Control Panel is created that identifies the performance drivers of the organization (lead measures), which are the measures of the lead activities that drive desired performance (lag measures). Additionally, each WIN team creates an Action Plan to achieve the objective of their respective WIN, which when successfully completed will improve business performance.  
  • Keep a Compelling Scoreboard: The Strategic Control Panel is reviewed and discussed not less than monthly or quarterly during Management Review sessions.   
  • Create a Cadence of Accountability: Because StratOp is installed as a system, first with the leadership team, and then throughout the organization, a healthy discipline of accountability is instilled that drives results.  

How StratOp Ensures Long-term Sustained Action

For StratOp to become the strategic operating system by which you will focus and grow your business, requires getting more than the leadership team involved in executing the plan.  Populating each WIN team with those who weren’t involved in the initial 3-day StratOp plan creation workshop is a great way to get more buy-in and a discipline of execution throughout the organization.  WIN teams live out the four disciplines of execution by:

  • Situational Analysis: Through either a SWOT analysis, or asking what is right, wrong, missing & confused about this initiative, we first gain proper perspective.
  • Action Plan: Having gained proper perspective, we then create a detailed sequential Action Plan that clarified who will do what by when to achieve the objectives & deliverables of the initiative on time and on budget.

We facilitate the Leadership Team monthly or quarterly through Management Review sessions that include:

  • WIN Updates: Each WIN team presents to the Leadership Team an update on their progress and remaining tasks to complete the WIN’s objectives & deliverables.
  • Update Strategic Control Panel: We update and discuss performance drivers, results, and risks & constraints.

Visit for a full list and explanation of all of the StratOp Action tools.

The accountability of monthly or quarterly Management Reviews, where each WIN team leader reports to the Leadership Team the progress of their WIN team, ensures each WIN initiative will be completed.  Such Management Reviews also ensure all WIN teams are aligning where their respective WIN initiatives have overlapping dependencies.

So What?

Understanding the 4 Disciplines of Execution (“4DX”) is easy.  Implementing the principles is much more challenging.  Utilizing StratOp will allow your organization to live out 4DX to achieve desired outcomes.

Next Steps?

About The Author

  • Tom Barrett is a Nashville-based leadership team coach who utilizes proven processes including StratOp, Scaling Up and the ValueBuilder System to help entrepreneurs get what they want from their business. 

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