Translating Strategy Into Action: Themes and Objectives


  • The manager as “translator”: the value and the challenge
  • The Manager’s role in helping the team(s) connect with the bigger picture and align action to accelerate the strategy
  • The power or shared vision to strategy execution
  • Bridging the Gap: A manager’s tool kit—knowing what to do, with whom and how
  • Identifying and managing priorities and building the capabilities that enables execution


  • Understand strategy from the top of the organization and translate it for the team
  • Create a shared vision for and with the team – Establish milestones and a completion project
  • Mobilize team to assess the current state of ability and address gaps
  • Identify the right things to do to create success—priorities, leverage, sequencing
  • Build capability through individual effort, systems and processes
  • Maintain focus through motivation, measurement and modeling

Translating Strategy Into Action: Module Outline

Day One Strategy & Vision

The Elements of Strategy

Using the Guiding Models, learn how to break down a strategy into it’s components, and what it takes to understand and “translate” that strategy for those on your team.

Crafting and Communicating a Vision

Drawing on lessons from business and civic leaders, understand the power of creating and communicating a shared vision, and the tools for communicating that vision effectively.

Day Two Moving Forward

Assessing the Current State and creating the roadmap and priorities to close the gap.

Working the same domains as those used to craft your vision, assess the state and understand the gap. Armed with this insight, we next work together to identify milestones and priority actions and a roadmap to achieve success.

Building Capability & Maintaining Focus

Applying the Breakthrough Model, identify the key capabilities needed to achieve your vision, and develop a staged plan for building these. Using leading practices to maintain focus for yourself and your team.

The Elements of Strategy

One of the most important, and difficult, responsibilities of a manager is understanding and “translating” organizational strategy for those he manages.  Day One begins with a primer on the elements of a good strategy to ensure that participants understand the questions and considerations involved in building a strategy. Armed with that knowledge, they are better able to make sense of and organize their organization’s strategy and, therefore, more able to make sense of it for their team.  In an interactive session, participants will practice both designing and assessing the strategies of well-known companies, and work with their own organization’s strategy.

Crafting and Communicating a Vision

After understanding and making sense of the strategy for yourself and others, the next fundamental step is to create a shared destination or picture of success for their teams. This destination or vision must be aligned with the larger organizational strategy.  In this portion of the module, participants work through “Case Studies” taken from well-known leaders in business and government.  Participants are further challenged to begin working on a vision for their own team or department. They will help one another ensure that they are remaining aligned with their organization’s goals and strategy and learn how to engage their teams in this process.

Assessing the Current State and Identifying the Right Things to Do

A strategically-aligned team vision is only one half of the equation for translating Strategy into Action.  Managers must also understand the current state of their team or department.  Participants learn a proven method for analyzing their organization and defining the gap between the current state and the desired future state described in their vision.  Participants will then work out a roadmap to success. This includes how to determine the priorities and milestones as well as how to balance shifting priorities in a dynamic world.

Building Capability & Maintaining Focus

The literature is replete with examples of good strategies that have gone unrealized. One of the primary reasons is that the organization lacks the key capabilities. Identifying the priority capabilities is an essential part of the strategy development and execution process. In this session, participants apply the  Breakthrough Model to correlate the demands and milestones (staging) of the strategy with the capabilities required to achieve them.  From there, managers work to create a plan for building the priority capabilities of their team. In this session, participants also learn and apply leading practices for maintaining focus for themselves and their team.

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