Strategy = Execution

The 10 of leading professional service firms

The 10 of leading professional service firms

An organization of professionals ≠ a professional organization

An organization of professionals ≠ a professional organization

  1. Mission: The why is the fuel. Make sure you have one and live one. But don’t stop there, it’s just a start.
  2. Strategy: Answer four critical questions:
    1. markets, customers
    2. propositions, value
    3. demands of business model
    4. critical change initiatives. No either/or between customer, operational or innovation focus.
  3. Propositions (services): Think propositions. With a qualitative and quantitative promise. The latter first.
  4. Sales: Ensure optimum between expert based and relational focus.
  5. (Social selling and) Marketing: Should use thought leadership content to fuel traffic and create leads for sales. Marketing of PSF’s ≠ generic marketing.
  6. Thought leadership: Feeds clients with timely, new and relevant insights. Discerns you from the rest and affirms your positioning.
  7. Ways of working (processes): Choose your battles. Enforce the optimum between free craftmanship and non negotiable harmonized so called key processes for a scalable and steerable organization. Don’t forget: standardization is the only way to be flexible, customer oriented, have quality time and tailor service.
  8. Structure and governance:
    1. create entrepreneurial cells.
    2. get the top 5 of KPI’s laser sharp, the rest is noise and clutter (except for hygiene).
    3. enable self steering to the max.
    4. cadence is everything.
    5. closed loop performance management, align and standardize all meeting agenda’s.
    6. avoid charismatic leadership.
    7. know and use the top 3 of ‘controls’: the professional, values, facilities.
    8. diversity and inclusion = common sense.
    9. partner structures are as good and evil as any other structure?
    10. choose your battle’s carefully.
    11. nurture the power of (authentic and valid) compliments.
  9. HR & Culture:
    1. you got to love people.
    2. people are the assets (‘It’s the professional stupid’), invest heavily on professional and organizational development,
      multidisciplinary, X over: ethics, philosophy.
    3. don’t inspire or motivate ( = pitfall).
    4. manage your ratio’s, max. 1:8 mavericks (not less), protect insecure
      overachievers, balance craftmanship organizational perspective, award excellence, corner free dancers.
    5. intrinsic motivation and variable renumeration are not contradictory.
  10. Strategy – Execution: add. 10% more seriousness to all success factors of strategy execution. And 25% to portfolio management (max. 9 critical initiatives) and the check in ( = ownership) of key players. Time = key resource > money.



  1. 2: based on Good strategy, bad strategy, Rumelt, p.98 Strategy = Execution
  2. Scope: All professions highly educated and disproportionately stubborn: law firms, accountants, medical, consultants, fiscality, academics, engineers, pilots, etc. Points apply different for private and (semi-)public organizations. Sources: >30 case studies of psf’s, Harvard Leading PSF’s 2019, > 100 articles, books, round tables, courses, David Maister, Richard Susskind, Marcel Wanrooy, Mathieu Weggeman, Parker, Mandele, George Kohlrieser/IMD, etc. And not at least: (co-)leading 60 – 80 professionals at Turner.
  3. Groeimodel van Greiner:

Strategy = Execution. Improve, Renew and Innovate Faster

How can organizations make strategy execution their number one priority? And improve, renew and innovate faster? This I describe in my book Strategy = Execution. Strategy = execution is based on the research that Turner started years ago into the success factors of strategy execution and innovation. We interviewed 60 directors and professionals and analyzed more than 75 cases, 300 relevant books and articles.

  • More about Jacques Pijl (author) and Turner Consultancy
  • The most popular interventions based on Strategy = Execution
  • 24 endorsements from organizational leaders
  • American management book of the year 2021, no. 1 in the category of strategic management, in the top 100 bestseller, seventh edition, translated into: English, German, Spanish, Russian and Indonesian.
  • Selection of the most important management books according to CEOs of innovative organizations (FD New Champions). Included in library of classics (
  • Nominated for Management Book of the Year.
  • Countless articles and interviews in FD, Emerce, Frankwatching and CFO.
  • Numerous Ted Talks and in-company workshops at the top 25-50 organizations, average rating 8.7.


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