Implementation

A clear strategy and well-thought-out supporting programs may be useless if the firm fails to implement them carefully. Indeed, strategy is only one of seven elements, according to McKinsey & Company, that the best-managed companies exhibit.15 In the McKinsey 7-S framework for business success, strategy, structure, and systems are considered the "hardware" of success, and style (how employees think and behave), skills (to carry out the strategy), staff (able people who are properly trained and assigned), and shared values (values that guide employees' actions) are the "software." When these software elements are present, companies are usually more successful at strategy implementation.16 Implementation is vital to effective management of the marketing process, as discussed later in this chapter.

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