How to Stress-Test Your Strategy

Robert Simons, the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, explains why management teams must ask themselves tough strategy questions. During this interview, Robert covers:

  • obstacles business leaders face when executing their business strategy
  • why companies need to focus on one primary customer
  • the importance in choosing which among shareholders, customers, or employees are most important to the company’s success
  • how executives should decide which few metrics to focus on
  • key approaches to effectively making tough priority selection decisions

Robert Simons on the StrategyDriven Podcast

Last month, we were privileged to talk with Robert about his new book, Seven Strategy Questions, on the StrategyDriven Podcast. Listen as we explore the seven strategy questions that can help an organization’s leaders identify gaps within their strategy and its execution.

StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 57 – An Interview with Robert Simons, author of Seven Strategy Questions

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 57 – An Interview with Robert Simons, author of Seven Strategy Questions explores the seven strategy questions that can help an organization’s leaders identify gaps within their strategy and its execution. By asking and effectively answering these questions, executives and managers gain the insight necessary to better align their organization’s day-to-day operations to the optimal achievement of mission goals; thereby enhancing overall bottom line results. During our discussion, Robert Simons, author of Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution, shares with us his insights regarding:

  • the benefits of routinely asking the right strategy questions
  • the key Seven Strategy Questions and what makes them so important
  • how leaders can formally incorporate the Seven Strategy Questions into their business processes
  • actions executives should take to develop rising managers so that they instinctively ask the Seven Strategy Questions as a part of their internal thought process and the way they interact with their staffs

Additional Information

In addition to the outstanding insights Robert shares in Seven Strategy Questions and this special edition podcast are the resources accessible from his Harvard Business School Working Knowledge website.   Robert’s book, Seven Strategy Questions, can be purchased by clicking here.

Final Request…

The strength of our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. Please consider rating us on iTunes by clicking here. Rating the StrategyDriven Podcast and providing your comments online improves our ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, helps us grow our community.

Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Podcast!


About the Author

Robert Simons, author of Seven Strategy Questions, is the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. For twenty-five years, he has taught accounting, management control, and strategy implementation courses in the Harvard MBA and Executive Education programs. Robert’s research has been published in the Harvard Business Review and the Strategic Management Journal, among others. To read Robert’s complete biography, click here.

StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 38 – An Interview with Robert Morison, co-author of Analytics at Work

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 38 – An Interview with Robert Morison, co-author of Analytics at Work explores how to leverage analytics to make better business decisions that ultimately lead to superior business results. During our discussion, Robert Morison, co-author of Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • the tangible benefits leaders realize as a result of incorporating analytics in their decision-making process
  • balancing the art and science of decision-making and recognizing when the process is out-of-balance
  • types of questions analytics can help answer
  • the five stages of analytical maturity
  • the five key analytics DELTA components: Data, Enterprise, Leadership, Targets, and Analysts

Additional Information

In addition to the invaluable insights Robert shares in Analytics at Work and this special edition podcast are the resources accessible from his website, www.AnalyticsAtWorkBook.com.   Robert’s book, Analytics at Work, can be purchased by clicking here.

Final Request…

The strength of our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. Please consider rating us on iTunes by clicking here. Rating the StrategyDriven Podcast and providing your comments online improves our ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, helps us grow our community.

Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Podcast!


About the Author

Robert Morison is co-author of Analytics at Work. For the past twenty years, Robert has led breakthrough research at the intersection of business, technology, and human asset management. He has written or overseen more than 130 research and management reports on topics ranging from business reengineering to electronic business to workforce demographics. Robert is co-author of three Harvard Business Review articles and Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills And Talent. To read Robert’s complete biography, click here.

StrategyDriven Strategic Analysis Best Practice Article

Strategic Analysis Best Practice 9 – Comparing Organizational Goals to Resource Assignments

Want to know what the organization is focused on; what it values? Simply follow the money.

The purpose of every organization is to maximize value creation as defined by its mission goals. To do so, executives and managers must employ the organization’s resources such that they are focused on the activities most directly supporting achievement of the organization’s mission goals. One method of assessing the degree of goal focus is to evaluate the alignment between organizational goals and resource assignment.


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Additional Resources

The following StrategyDriven recommended best practices are designed to help quantify an organization’s mission goals in terms of value and importance as well as creating consistency in the derivation of quantifiable goal values:

StrategyDriven Podcast Episode 22 – Identify the Hidden Drivers, part 3 of 3

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve better results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag posts on the StrategyDriven Podcasts website.

Episode 22 – Identify the Hidden Drivers, part 3 of 3 elaborates on Strategic Analysis Best Practice 3 – Identify the Hidden Drivers and Strategic Analysis Best Practice 3 – Identify the Hidden Drivers (Continued). This discussion:

  • identifies ten questions to explore when seeking to identify both documented and undocumented hidden performance drivers
  • recaps the key concepts presented in the hidden drivers trilogy

Final Request…

The strength of our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. Please consider rating us on iTunes by clicking here. Rating the StrategyDriven Podcast and providing your comments online improves our ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, helps us grow our community.

Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Podcast!