Keynotes & Seminars

Middle Managers Role in Strategy Implementation
– The Lynchpin of Success



middlemans-roleSenior leaders craft the strategy and staff members implement it but the role of middle managers in implementation has not yet been properly addressed. Their role is often overlooked and this is detrimental to the extent it can derail the whole implementation.Employees struggle to translate strategy into what it means to them. They may read an email, be briefed or attend a town hall meeting on the launch of the strategy and then go back to doing what they were doing before. They need assistance to understand why the organization must transform and how they participate. This comes from the middle managers, who are the lynchpin by supporting, role modeling, reinforcing and coaching people. Most of us start out with the right intentions but somewhere between thought and action, we lose focus, we lose direction, we lose commitment. Middle managers must ensure not only that employees know what to do but they do it.


The workshop addresses:

  • Why middle managers are inspired not to understand strategy!
  • The eight essential activities for middle managers in implementation,
  • How middle managers influence implementation from their position
  • Why employees listen to middle managers more than senior leaders
  • A personal assessment on your ability to implement
  • The latest research
  • A framework for taking the right actions based on the eight areas of excellence for execution,
  • An in depth case study

More implementations fail than succeed and a new strategy, by default, means doing things differently. Middle managers as much as the senior leaders ensure the changes are happening and the right outcomes are being conveyed. Everyone is busy and middle managers need to ask their people, “Are you taking the right actions to implement the new strategy?” to ensure accountability and sustaining the momentum. Without middle managers support an already difficult challenge is even harder.

The seminar adopts various methods and tools in the design to make it fully engaging, informative and entertaining. It combines theory with practice, lecture with experiential learning and individual reflection time with group discussions.



This highly engaging, impactful and interactive one-day addresses the critical role middle managers play in implementing strategy. Adopting group discussions, paired sharing, individual reflection, case studies and videos the session addresses:
1. Eight Essential Middle Manager Activities

These eight activities ensure the organization is able to start implementing the strategy with the middle managers support. It examines for example if priorities are clear across the organization (which they are often not), if resources are in place, responsibilities, the reasons for transforming, eliminating wasted time and efforts and regular feedback.

The participants review and assess which of the eight are most relevant to themselves.
2. The Strategy Implementation Challenge

Due to the high rate of failure in implementing strategy there is now more focus being placed on managers having both the ability to craft the strategy and the skills to implement it. But many have been trained how to plan and not how to implement and this along with them underestimating what’s involved causes many of them to fail.

Managers need to understand what is involved in successfully implementing challenge.
3. The Implementation Compass™ – a framework for taking the right actions

You want to become fit you have to train. You want a degree you have to study. You want to be promoted you have to work harder. All these require one constant – “a passion for action”. The question is knowing what the right actions are to take especially when more implementations fail than succeed.

The Implementation Compass™ is a metaphor for leaders to understand the eight areas required for implementing strategy and a framework to ensure the right actions are being taken.

The strategy is the organization’s map that shows where they are and where they want to go. The Compass shows which actions to take to move toward in the right direction throughout the implementation journey. The leader act as a guide showing people the best path to take.

The Compass provides the framework that everyone in the organization adopts to ensure consistency and that the right actions are being taken.
4. Stewards of Strategy

How capable are you in leading transformation and in the eight areas of the Compass? This module after the lunch assess individual implementation capabilities in a paper based assessment.

Managers reflect on their assessment and identify opportunities for personal improvement.
5. Square Wheels

Square Wheels is visual based presentation where each picture tells a different story that facilitates group discussions. With the clear objective in mind to identify implementation challenges, it provides an interactive discussion that will result in a structured response to current organizational issues.

Square Wheels is used as a tool for generating action learning, reflective perspective, participative involvement and a sense of ownership of the strategy and challenges.
6. Case Study

Participants have the opportunity at the end of the day to demonstrate and apply the learning from the course on a case study.

The case is debriefed around the challenges of implementing strategy and middle managers as the lynchpin.

Who Should Attend

This course is appropriate for people who struggle with the challenge of implementing strategy and understanding how they can influence change from their position. It is also for internal teams to better understand how to collaborate, communicate and impact the strategy implementation.


Lead Facilitator – Robin Speculand

A global pioneer in strategy execution, Robin Speculand is driven to transform organizations around the world by guiding leaders through their strategy execution challenges. He provides them with the understanding, tools and templates to succeed where so many have failed.

In 2000, he left his position as Citigroup Regional Vice President, Corporate Bank, Asia Pacific, to start Bridges Business Consultancy Int, specializing in strategy execution. Since first assisting Singapore Airlines in 2001, Bridges has helped governments, multinational corporations and local organizations across five continents achieve Excellence in Execution. This has led to writing four books, two of which have become international bestsellers, Bricks to Bridges–Make Your Strategy Come Alive and Beyond Strategy–The Leader’s Role in Successful Implementation. His latest book Excellence in Execution – HOW to Implement Strategy is just being released.

Robin has developed several proprietary tools including the Implementation Compass™, which identifies actions in the eight critical areas for Excellence in Execution. In 2013, he founded the Implementation Hub, the first portal in the world dedicated to strategy implementation. It features over 450 resources to support leaders in their implementation journey.

Robin’s work begins once leaders have crafted their strategy and are ready to start their implementation journey. He has assisted organizations from Iceland to Australia and from Beijing to Finland. His expertise has been featured in strategy journals, international print and electronic media including the BBC UK & Global, Channel News Asia, CNBC, Financial Times and Telegraph, and Singapore Straits Times. He is a sought-after speaker at strategy and international business forums. He is a founding member of the Asia Professional Speakers Singapore.

Robin earned an MBA from the National University of Singapore and is an adjunct professor at Singapore Management University and educator for Duke CE. Outside of work, he’s a die-hard ironman athlete.


“You can outsource the crafting of the strategy but not its implementation”

Robin Speculand

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