Strategy is only an idea, a hypothesis, until it is actualized. The greatest challenge of CEOs and top management teams is helping their organizations execute better.

Through extensive research and work with businesses all over the world, Darden Professor Scott Snell has developed a framework for driving breakthrough performance through focus on four primary factors that determine execution excellence: Alignment, Ability, Architecture and Agility.

The 4A framework can help leaders see their business through the lens of execution requirements and how it can serve as a platform for engaging others in important discussions to prioritize action and intervention. This framework is especially important as companies grow and evolve. The practices may change, but the principles remain the same.

How do your organization’s strategy execution capabilities stack up? Take Darden’s online Strategy Execution Survey, based on the 4A framework.

Snell leads Strategic Execution: Achieving Breakthrough Performance, which delves into the 4A framework and provides assessments and tools for creating the organizational capabilities necessary for breakthrough strategic execution, and addresses the importance of agility as an organizational capability that allows firms to maintain alignment in their strategy, no matter where the target moves.

Read the full article on our Ideas to Action site and check out Professor Snell’s book, Strategic Execution: Driving Breakthrough Performance in Business.