they have proved to be very helpful. Additionally, they are also starting to see these sessions as an opportunity to showcase their skills and achievements. This led to the unexpected benefit that HealthChecks can serve to transfer lessons from experiences to others. Furthermore, by independently reviewing programs in light of changing business conditions and against strategic goals, any decision to abort a program is made objectively and is no reﬂection on the individual pro-gram manager’s ability—the emphasis is on the quality of the decisions made, not the quality of the outcome as this is subject to external inﬂuences beyond the program manager’s control. Moreover, this approach has enabled the iden-tification of previously overlooked and new benefits, allowing the organization to nearly double its average return from IT investments because of the benefits actually delivered since the introduction of HealthChecks.Although the HealthChecks approach is still evolving in this company, it appeared from the comments of other focus group participants and survey respondents that it is one of the few organizations with a supportive culture and a well-managed approach for objectively eliminating non-viable programs in support of beneficial ones.These examples demonstrate the strong inﬂuence the strategic leadership team’s behavior and organizational culture have on an organization’s ability to abort ill-conceived change programs during execution.Business Benefit 2:Increasing Confidence in Management’s Ability to Deliver Change ProgramsThis business benefit is unique in that it is the only one out of the seven business benefits that is dependent for its realization on the effective perfor-mance of all four key elements of strategy execution. Of these four elements “engendering and reinforcing an organizational culture of continuous change” has the greatest relative inﬂuence (see Table 1).The element that has the second greatest relative inﬂuence on the realiza-tion of this particular business benefit is “establishing accountability and gover-nance of each change program.” This finding emphasizes the need for clarity in responsibility and the effectiveness of governance groups like the change man-agement steering committee and the IT steering group.Organizations that appear to perform these two elements well are those for whom rapid change sits at the core of their business. For example, a consul-tant from a global technology solutions provider remarked that people in her organization expect change on a regular basis and hence welcome new pro-grams rather than resist them. She added that to enable this, her organization has a dedicated change management organization, is strong on planning, and makes sure that strategic goals and objectives are aligned, clearly articulated, and
Executing Strategic ChangeCALIFORNIA MANAGEMENT REVIEW VOL. 51, NO. 3 SPRING 2009 CMR.BERKELEY.EDU63broadly communicated. Further, those accountable for change understand their responsibilities and this is communicated to and understood by others.