“…we need you to take action and implement them…..build a strong organization culture and deliver exceptional execution please!”

Alan Middleton, Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business, York University

Today’s marketplace requires an organization to execute goals and strategy flawlessly to stay competitive and agile. 7 Elements of Strategy Execution is about the execution phase of your strategic plan.

It provides insight into why most strategic plans fail and what can you do to ensure execution success. It also answers the question “Does Culture Really Eat Strategy For Breakfast” and provides lessons in how organizational culture speaks to the very real issue of “what is it like to work here, and what are the attitudes and behaviors required to drive the execution of the strategic plan”.

Mitchell and Barrett have pulled together years of research and customer engagements to present a succinct, to-the-point look at what we can do to better ensure our strategic plan is successful.

7 Elements of Strategy Execution provide insight and rare candor for large corporations, non-profit and small and medium-size business.

“It’s how your people think and behave—it’s your organizational culture

What Others Are Saying

Finally, a book that tackles why good teams fail when achieving their strategic goals.  We spend so much time in our business focusing on building the plans and very little time on the execution of these plans and so often fail.  By reading 7 Elements of Strategy Execution you will get to the heart of why strategic plans fail and how you as a leader can truly weave your strategic plans into your organizational culture to guarantee success.  It will cause you to look at how you as a leader are impacting the culture and what you can do differently to drive the successful execution of the strategy, not just on the building of your strategic plan.  We have all created great strategic plans that end up documented and on the shelf, It is time to bring strategy into real action and to organizational success!

Ann Barnes

President & CEO, MedData

There are many theories on strategic planning, but David and Mona have written a practical book which clearly delineates the seven critical elements which will inspire your people with the desire to achieve your strategic plan resulting in effective execution.

Joseph Sherren, CSP, HoF,

International Business Transformation Expert

A book that talks about projects from the team member perspective. Why it is so important to have clarity in what a strategy is trying to achieve and how that clarity, or lack thereof impacts the entire teams performance. In a world, where the Agile methodology has taken hold, it is even more important to have clearly articulated, measurable targets for success. This book will show how to leverage those targets to build and motivate the team and ultimately deliver a successful project.

Dan Watt

Sr. Director, Large Program Enablement |Technology & Operations | RBC, RBC

About The Authors

Mona Mitchell

Mona Mitchell is President and CEO of ACHIEVEBLUE™. Mona’s expertise includes working with global organizations’ executive teams to develop high performing environments. Her work related to self, team and enterprise effectiveness enables these organizations and their employees to thrive and excel. Mona has over thirty years of industry experience in business development, management, leadership and talent development. She is an executive coach, facilitator and professional speaker.

Mona’s passion extends to giving back with a focus on women and children’s not-for-profit organizations. As a board member and executive coach, she contributes to their success by mentoring the leadership team in the areas of strategy and organizational effectiveness.

Mona can be reached at mmitchell@achieveblue.com. ACHIEVEBLUE’s website is www.achieveblue.com

David Barrett

David Barrett is a professional speaker, regular blogger, podcast host, author of 5 books and education advisor. He specializes in helping people and organizations ‘Manage the Uncertainty’ by creating healthy projects and strategies.

David has been in the business of project management since 1997. He is the founder and past Managing Director of ProjectWorld, ProjectSummit and BusinessAnalystWorld conferences held around the world. He is the National Program Director for all Project Management training out of the Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business, York University and in partnership with nine other universities across Canada.

He is the founder and past Executive Director of ProjectTimes.com.

David has held board positions for numerous charitable and not-for-profit organizations.

Book Sample

7 Elements of Strategy Execution – Excerpt From Introduction

This book is not about how to develop a brilliant strategic plan. While it’s critical that you have a solid strategy, we apologize in advance: We’re not here to help you create one.

But, we are here to aid significantly with your strategy execution. What we will do is empower you with the ability to execute your strategic plan. For some companies, it looks so easy. They’re rolling out the strategy, communicating it to team members, meeting the plan’s targets – and everyone’s having fun doing it. That’s solid execution. If only all organizations could achieve that. The problem is that leaders tend to focus much more on creating the strategic plan than on executing it. Execution is just as important as the strategy itself – if not more important – yet too often execution stalls. We have heard from too many senior executives about how their strategic plans have ended up on a shelf. They develop a solid strategy, put the right processes, people and technology in place to support it, but the plan goes nowhere. The gears are jammed. That’s why we wrote this book. We explore why execution stalls and how to avoid it.

Right off the top, we’ll tell you what’s likely holding back your execution. It’s how your people think and behave – it’s your organizational culture. Many people hear the term organizational culture and their eyes glaze over. It’s too abstract and wooly. It’s too mysterious and complex. It’s intangible, they think, so they move on to dealing with easier problems related to organizational process and structure. Well, we’re excited to tell you that organizational culture is not as difficult a problem as you may have thought. There is a body of well-refined practical research and experience that clearly outlines how to shape and sustain a powerful, high-performance culture. Whether you like it or not, your organization has a culture. In this book, we provide practical ways to shape and influence it.

We’ve seen the connection between outcomes and how employees interpret and operationalize goals. Execution comes from the thousands of decisions, big and small, that employees make each day.[1] They make those decisions within some type of organizational culture, whether it’s constructive, defensive, high-performance or dysfunctional. You can have the right technology, processes and targets set up to execute your strategy, but, if your culture is off, your people will take it nowhere. More often than not, the degree to which an organization’s strategy is successful is determined by its culture.

Culture is the often-overlooked foundation of an organization. It determines how the group retains talent, how it develops and releases new products and whether it meets targets. It affects how happy and satisfied employees are at work. Your people are the force behind the execution of your strategy, and if they’re not thinking and behaving in ways that advance your goals, you’ve got a culture problem. Unfortunately, executives often ignore, misunderstand or are unaware of their culture until they realize that their organization is in peril. They become like the firefighters of Pompeii, dousing small flames while disaster looms above.

This book provides a concise, prescriptive analysis of the links between strategy execution and organizational culture. We’ve compiled our own primary source research. Published here for the first time are exclusive interviews with executives who discuss best practices supporting a high-performance culture and whose insights reinforce our analysis. We break down strategy execution into the following seven essential elements so that you, as CEO or organizational leader, can build a high-performance culture and kick your strategic plan into action.

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Kick off your next strategic planning meeting with a presentation on the importance of a sound strategy execution plan. Get your whole team on board right from the start to ensure strategy success.



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Gather your key people in a room for a day and let’s get everyone on board. How can we create a strategy execution culture that will work for you and your environment?

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