Brightline Initiative Study Identifies Crisis Mode Learnings that Create Stronger Strategy Implementation Capabilities

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.--()--In partnership with Quartz Insights, Brightline™ Initiative today announces the release of research report “Learning From Crisis Mode – Implications for Better Strategy Implementation”. The report aimed to discern implications of crisis on better strategy implementation, and participants spanned the globe, with the majority holding C-suite positions (52%) and coming from companies with annual global revenues of $1 billion or more (65%). It provides readers with key practices and recommendations to improve strategy implementation capabilities as well as insights for how to leverage crisis experiences and enact change in non-crisis environments.

The report shows that a crisis can have a positive and lasting impact on three key areas of strategy implementation: prioritization of initiatives, speed in decision making and execution of process, and team empowerment.

Key findings include the following:

  • Expect a crisis: 68% of respondents agreed with the inevitability of their organizations facing a crisis in the future, and 91% of respondents agreed that when faced with a crisis, they changed the standard operating procedures. In the survey, we refer to this as “Crisis Mode.”
  • Identify lasting implementations: 79% of respondents agreed that modifications to team structures that were introduced as a result of the crisis remained in place, 74% agreed that close working partnerships between cross-functional teams continued, and 71% agreed that a clearer understanding of the organization’s priorities renewed its vision and sense of direction.
  • Prioritize strategic initiatives: Of the 75% of respondents who reported that experiencing Crisis Mode made them stronger in strategy implementation, 91% reported making changes to their prioritization of strategic initiatives. This re-prioritization implies a willingness to quickly assess what is and isn’t working without fear of abandoning a previously established direction.
  • Empower key employees: Organizations that empowered non-leadership-level employees who were closer to the crisis emerged stronger post-crisis than those that didn’t. 75% of these high performing organizations believe crises uncover talented leaders from within the organizational ranks, allowing those leaders to advance. This responsibility distribution allows for faster communication and fewer roadblocks.

Ricardo Vargas, Executive Director, Brightline Initiative, observed that “A crisis can bring out the best in your staff, unearth improvements in processes, and reveal new business opportunities, all of which can -- and should -- influence post-crisis strategy design and implementation.”

“We were delighted to partner with The Brightline Initiative. We share a common obsession on ensuring that breakthrough ideas are realized, and -- together -- engaged hundreds of individuals to produce a report grounded in rigor, and oriented towards empowering organizations to benefit from disruption and transformation.” - Ernesto Henriquez, Director, Insights & Brand Strategy, Quartz

The report is the result of 18 qualitative interviews and 1,258 quantitative interviews with executives from the government, non-profit and the private sector who have experienced a crisis. The full report, Learning From Crisis Mode, can be viewed online at https://www.brightline.org/learning-from-crisis-mode/.

About Brightline Initiative
The Brightline™ Initiative is a coalition led by the Project Management Institute together with leading global organizations dedicated to helping executives bridge the expensive and unproductive gap between strategy design and delivery.

Brightline Coalition
Project Management Institute – The Boston Consulting Group – Bristol Myers Squibb – Saudi Telecom Company – Lee Hecht Harrison – Agile Alliance – NetEase

Academic and Research Collaboration
MIT Consortium for Engineering Program Excellence – Technical University of Denmark – University of Tokyo Global Teamwork Lab – Blockchain Research Institute

About Quartz Insights
Quartz Insights is a unit of Quartz’s commercial team obsessed with the topics that matter to people in business, dedicated to providing breakthrough insights, intelligence, and competitive advantage to Quartz’s partners. Quartz Insights conducts research and publishes thought leadership to inform and inspire the leaders of the new economy. Learn more at qz.com

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