Courtesy of International Paper, Brian McDonald has written an article introducing his presentation: 'Strategy and Execution'. Click here to see the all BTOES19 Speakers.
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. I have never found either applicable. Strategy simply stated is about winning and we want to win. Winning with and for customers, winning in our operations and winning for our shareholders. Winning these micro and macro battles are interconnected. Winning requires both strategy and execution. I believe this topic, while frequently discussed is usually over complicated and frequently misunderstood. Focusing on the critical elements of what creates value and what does not and what creates a right to win and what does not is vital for every company’s success. Adding management tools of frequent measurement, feedback and adjustment gives a company the best chance to win.
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There are core elements or “non-negotiables” for a good strategy:
Execution against the strategy is vital for real success. On the front end, we need to have made sure the key stakeholders (Board of Directors, Management and Shareholders) understand the strategy in appropriate levels of granularity and disclosure so we can appropriately engage them in our Strategic discussions.
We must be able to articulate:
We then keep the stakeholders current with an appropriate cadence of updates on how we are performing in our execution.
It is the rare CEO 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 strategy and execution.
About International Paper
"International Paper is one of the world’s leading producers of fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper. We create packaging products that protect and promote goods, enable worldwide commerce and keep consumers safe; pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness; and papers that facilitate education and communication." Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, International Paper employs approximately 52,000 people worldwide and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers around the globe.
About the Author
Brian McDonald 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. Click here to see the all BTOES19 Speakers.
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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