World Strategy Summit: Abu Dhabi, UAE

This coming week, Nov. 17-19, 2015 I will be participating in the World Strategy Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I will be a keynote speaker alongside Tom Peters, Gary Hamel and Rene Mauborgne. Tom Peters co-authored one of the top 10 business books of the 20th century, In Search of Excellence, and made popular the topic of corporate culture. Gary Hamel, a London Business School professor, is an expert on innovation and transformation.  Rene Mauborgne is the co-author of the strategy best seller, Blue Ocean Strategy.

On Nov 18th I will be giving the keynote address on Strategy Execution. And the next day giving a 3-hour workshop on the Hidden Barriers to Strategy Execution.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to be invited to this global event and to share the stage with some of the biggest names in business education. Besides sharing my thoughts and experiences on strategy execution, I am looking forward to coming back with some new insights and ideas to pursue. As well as meeting hundreds of interesting people.

My Keynote Speech: There is no strategy without execution!

“The key isn’t having a strategy, it’s getting it implemented!”       – Jack Welch

3 insightsMy keynote will focus on three key insights I have gained over the past 40 years of consulting on why so many good strategies fail to deliver the expected results.  If you subtract the 30% of strategy failures caused by a poor strategy and lack of funding, the remaining 70% can be attributed to poor execution!  Business teams just can’t deliver the goods. While there are many reasons, my keynote will focus on three.

Insight 1: Corporate culture can be a significant business and strategy risk

Insight 2: Culture is a hidden barrier to effective strategy execution

Insight 3: Leadership is the most critical element in strategy execution

During my 3-hour workshop the following day I will be elaborating on these three insights,roadblockas well as going into more detail on the many hidden roadblocks to effective strategy execution. Here are the seven barriers I will be reviewing:

  1. Execution is an afterthought
  2. Lack of clearly defined accountability
  3. Poor alignment at the top and heavy ‘silo focus’
  4. Initiative overload and “disconnected initiatives”
  5. Less than 14% of employees have seen or understand the strategy.
  6. Corporate culture often acts as a barrier to effective strategy delivery.
  7. Disciplined governance of strategic initiatives is notoriously lacking.

I will be presenting case studies featuring Lycoming Engine Co, Ford of Europe, Continental Airlines, Three Mile Island Nuclear plant, Global Banking, Blackberry, British Petroleum,, the America’s Cup Yacht Race and Korean Airlines.

Stay tuned for my next few blog entries from Abu Dhabi and the World Strategy Summit.

Written and Posted by: John R. Childress

Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid

Twitter @bizjrchildress

Read John’s blog,  Business Books Website

On Amazon: LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture

Read  The Economist review of LEVERAGE
Also on Amazon:   FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution

John also writes thriller novels!



About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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1 Response to World Strategy Summit: Abu Dhabi, UAE

  1. says:

    You go, John. Very exciting and well deserved.

    Delia Rose (805) 215-3717


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