The Focused Organization : How Concentrating on a Few Key Initiatives Can Dramatically Improve Strategy Execution book cover
1st Edition

The Focused Organization
How Concentrating on a Few Key Initiatives Can Dramatically Improve Strategy Execution

ISBN 9781409425663
Published April 28, 2012 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

In The Focused Organization Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez shows you how fewer, more effectively elected and managed projects are the key to strategic and long-term success. Using his own research and work experience he explains how and why those organizations that focus on just a few key initiatives can perform significantly better than unfocused organizations, not only financially but also in achieving their strategic objectives and motivating their staff. The author introduces a new way of looking at a company through two very different and often conflicting dimensions: running-the-business and changing-the-business. What you add to one dimension you have to subtract from the other one. Finding the right balance between these two dimensions represents one of the major challenges to successful strategy execution. Becoming a focused organization involves a radical change in the way companies are organized and the way they select and manage projects - the creation of a new culture. The Focused Organization discusses the characteristics that comprise a focused organization. It describes key areas where a focused organization builds its levels of maturity; provides examples of focused organizations that outperform the rest; and explains in practical steps how all enterprises can become focused. The book finishes with a unique and inspiring case study that transports us to the early days of the current business world. Through the main character, Benny White, we learn how a business was conducted and how management evolved over decades with the introduction of business theories, including project management.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Greg Balestrero; Benny's tale; Introduction; Part I Why Most Companies Only Partially Achieve Their Strategies: Organizational evolution and the challenges of strategy execution; Evidence of the neglect of project management; Why so many strategic initiatives have failed. Part II The Benefits and Methods of Becoming Focused; How companies can FOCUS; A six-pillar framework for becoming a focused organization; How to implement a focused organization; Case study: the evolution of Spare Parts Benny, Inc.; Bibliography; Index.

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Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, professor and best-selling author of the book on strategy execution "The Focused Organization". Antonio has been featured in several magazines, including Singapore Management Institute, Strategy Business Review and The Economist. He is the founder of the largest LinkedIn group in Strategy Execution (StrateXecution) which has more than 5.000 experts worldwide. Antonio is a professor at the #1 executive education school in the world (Duke CE) and other leading business schools such as Instituto de Empresa, Solvay and Vlerick. He has delivered executive programs to leaders of more than 30 multinationals on how to improve their strategy execution and project management capabilities. In 2013 Antonio was elected as Director for the Board of Directors of the Project Management Institute ( ). Currently he is the ViceChair of the Board. In addition, Antonio is the Head of Transversal Portfolio Management at BNP Paribas Fortis. Prior to that, he was head of post-merger integration at Fortis Bank, leading what was the largest takeover in the financial service history: the acquisition of ABN AMRO. He also worked for 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a senior manager.


'These days, for most companies the strategic objective of their CEOs and senior executives is to achieve sustainable growth in the market place and do it cost effectively. In this book, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez advocates a policy of being singularly focused on the projects that will make the biggest contribution to the organization's vision, strategy and purpose. He examines the conflict between "run-the-business" (operations) and "change-the-business" (projects), the optimum balance of resources between the two, and how best to move forward. The key is in adopting "FOCUSED" as an acronym for: F-Fewer projects, rather than many; O-Organized staff; C-Competitive mind set; U-Urgency; S-Strategic alignment; E-Excellence; and D-Discipline. Adoption of this paradigm shift is not a guarantee of success, but it will certainly reduce the chances of failure.' R. Max Wideman, P.Eng., FICE, FEIC, FCSCE, FPMI, MCMI 'The world is awash with business ideas and tools. But what really matters to business leaders is making things happen, execution. That is what they are measured on and what really turns them on. Based on research and extensive experience, The Focused Organization provides new, compelling and highly practical insights into the reality of execution.' Stuart Crainer, editor, Business Strategy Review, co-creator Thinkers50 'This book fills a long-standing need in the management literature by presenting, as it does, sound and proven concepts, principles, and practices for translating strategies into results. Nieto-Rodriguez clearly describes the reasons behind the widespread corporate failure to successfully execute strategies, and presents a practical approach for companies and agencies to become his vision of The Focused Organization.' Russell D. Archibald, Honorary Fellow APM/IPMA, PMI Fellow, PMP and author of Managing High-Technology Programs and Project In his new book, The Focused Organization, Antonio Nietro-Rodriguez brilliantly describes some significant