Brian McDonald
By
July 13, 2019

BTOES - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Strategy and Execution: There are only two cases when strategy is not important, you have no competition or you don’t care if you lose

Courtesy of International Paper, Brian McDonald wrote a synopsis of his speaking session discussing 'Strategy and Execution: There are only two cases when strategy is not important, you have no competition or you don’t care if you lose'.

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Strategy is important as it how we win. There are only two cases when strategy is not important to a company, you have no competition or you do not care if you lose. Great Strategy is what differentiates successful Investors from unsuccessful Gamblers

We live in an era of exceptional competition and expectations. Despite this, we have to be able to deliver today and prepare for the future. The more difficult the environment the more we need to filter signal from noise to slow the world down and allow us to focus on critical distinct choices in our strategy. In addition, in the category, I call “Astute observations of the obvious”, while we cannot predict the future, we must act.

We need a plan, need to keep the plan fresh and need to make sure our plan is purposely concrete. Concrete to me means, the agreed correct, clear, concise and quantified (therefore measurable) objectives. A clear understanding of how the company makes money/creates value along with a clear quantification of the logic and math of value creation in our space.

Clarity on how the company creates advantages (what good looks like and what it does not look like) and how those advantages translate into the company creating value execution step by execution step. A Framework of principles and constraints with bright lines and an understanding of the tradeoffs in our choices which using our principles and constraints will guide us to the best choices.

We need to articulate the plan to our stakeholders and bring the future into the room. We need to deliver the plan / putting runs of the board as if we are running a Business Unit with clear priorities and accountabilities. Execution against the strategy is vital for real success. 

It is the rare CEO/CSO that goes into a position without the ambition to make the company more valuable and better positioned when their tenure is complete vs when it began. A winning CEO and Strategy means the company is more valuable and better positioned. To do this requires concrete strategy and execution.

 

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About the Author

Brian McDonald image newBrian McDonald,
Vice President Strategic Planning - Finance, International Paper
International Paper

Brian started his career with Westvaco in Forest Operations and joined International Paper in 1987. He has held roles in the company’s manufacturing and commercial operations, including the director of the company’s Russian operations, president of IP Asia, Vice President Investor Relations, and most recently Deputy CEO of Ilim Group.

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology at Brandeis University. He has a Master of Forestry degree from Duke University, and an MBA from the University of Virginia.

Brian served two terms as a Board of Visitor’s member of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University, and has served on the Board of Eisenhower Fellowships, and Carter Holt Harvey.

Brian, his wife, Margaret, and their daughter, Isabel, reside in Memphis.

 

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BTOES.com

The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awardswhich showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.

 

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There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.

The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call. 


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