Execution Is a People Problem, Not a Strategy Problem

by Peter Bregman

Paul, the CEO of Maxreed, a global publishing company, was having trouble sleeping. (Names and some details in this story have been changed to protect privacy.) Publishing is an industry that’s changing even faster than most other fast-changing industries, but Paul wasn’t awake worrying about his strategy. He had a solid plan that took advantage of new technologies, and the board and his leadership team were aligned around it. Paul and his team had already reorganized the structure—new divisions, revised roles, redesigned processes—to support their strategy.

So what was Paul worrying about? People.

Which is precisely what he should be worrying about. However hard ...

Get HBR Guide to Thinking Strategically (HBR Guide Series) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.