CHAPTER 21

Your Strategy Should Be a Hypothesis You Constantly Adjust

by Amy C. Edmondson and Paul J. Verdin

The widely accepted view that strategy and execution are separable activities sets companies up for failure in a fast-paced world.

One of us (Paul) is a strategy scholar and economist; the other (Amy) studies organizational behavior and operations management. We came together to consider why strategy so often breaks down in the execution stage. While conducting research on recent dramatic cases of strategic failure in different industries, involving vastly different business models and strategies, we discovered a common pattern: What started as small gaps in execution spiraled into business failures when initial strategies were not altered ...

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