Jacques Pijl - Strategy = Execution

Faster improvement, renewal and innovation in the new economy


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Strategy = Execution is for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who view strategy execution as their principal job instead of strategy definition. Organizations are currently in a new economy, where they are either being disrupted or causing disruption. Continuity is no longer a given. Only one law applies: strategy = execution, because a strategy is only as brilliant as its execution. Strategy execution is the last competitive advantage, and strength, speed and agility in execution are more important than a perfectly mapped-out strategy based on feasibility and predictability.

• Obtain an overview: 6 success factors, 4 accelerators and 16 building blocks
• Get inspired: 16 cases and more than 50 innovation methods and new business models for inspiration
• Get started: 5 detailed approaches and digital assessment to determine the executional capacity of your organization

Published in December 2016 | Hardcover | With illustrations | 368 pages | ca. 100,000 words
Over 10,000 copies sold
Full English translation available
Awarded a Golden medal from the Axiom Business Book Awards
Shortlisted for Management Book of the Year

German rights sold to Schäffer-Poeschel
Spanish rights sold to Marge Books
Indonesian rights sold to Pustaka Alvabet
Russian rights sold to Alpina Publishers
English and Dutch editions published by Management Impact

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Jacques Pijl has over 20 years of experience in advising company directors and teams of leading organizations on strategy execution and innovation. In addition, he participates in large-scale transformations and surgical precision operations in the private, public and semi-public sector. He is the Managing Director of Turner consulting agency, a thought leader and in-demand speaker on strategy execution and innovation. Strategy = Execution was shortlisted for Management Book of the Year, was a #1 management book bestseller and was heralded as most important business title in the Dutch Financial Times. His previous book The New Standard; The 25 Rules to Survive in the New Economy (2014) was also a #1 bestseller in the Netherlands.


'Strategy = Execution means driving change. This book brilliantly shows how leadership is fundamental to inspire people to want to change because they see the benefit and are engaged in the process. Rather than something being done to them, they participate in making the change happen. This is a hands-on book and a must-read for all leaders.'
George Kohlrieser Ph.D., Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, IMD, Switzerland, bestselling author of Hostage at the Table and Care to Dare

'Vision without action is a hallucination. Talking about strategy is easy, but as I have discovered far too often while working with CEOs, getting things done is a totally different matter. Taking care of its execution is what it is all about. People need to be mobilized to be aligned with the strategy. It is therefore refreshing to read a book where this important topic has pride of place.'
Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, INSEAD Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change

'A wealth of well-founded insights and advice.'
Ben Tiggelaar, behavioral scientist, author, public speaker and consultant

'Strategy is nothing more than a set of ideas until we move the molecules in the room. Strategy = Execution is about making ideas come alive and creates a much-needed bridge between insight and action. The methodology in this book is a success formula that’s Monday morning ready. Read and thrive!'
Peter Meyers, founder and CEO, Stand & Deliver Group and visiting lecturer at Stanford University and IMD in Lausanne

'As we head into the fourth industrial revolution, the need for Innovation, Speed and Agility is bigger than ever before. This book provides excellent, reality-based insights into how we can achieve this.'
Heiko Schipper, member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG; President Bayer Consumer Health

'It is important to take the time we need for strategy and reflection. But it will just remain paperwork if we do not turn this into practical steps with the same zeal. This book shows us how to do that and how to do it smoothly.'
Ben Verwaayen, former CEO, Alcatal-Lucent and British Telecom and Commissioner, AkzoNobel and investor and partner, Keen Ventures

'Most management books are about strategy-setting, but precious few provide handles for strategy execution. Jacques Pijl’s book is a notable exception. It’s a must-read for every strategy professional.'
Henk W. Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management & Business Policy, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

'In an increasingly VUCA world, good strategy-setting combined with organizational purpose is important, but effective strategy execution at the right speed is what determines success! After all, it’s not your slide presentations that make the difference, but timely preparation for the new reality. In this book, Jacques Pijl shows that the next change is right around the corner. He inspires leaders and teams who face big changes and shares an abundance of good ideas for tightening our focus on successful enactment and execution of a change strategy.'
Harry J.M. Brouwer, CEO, Unilever Food Solutions

'Strategy Execution is the No. 1 task facing executives. That’s one of the most important arguments in this book.'
Kees Hoving, Chief Country Officer, Deutsche Bank Netherlands

'Strategy = Execution contains many clear, directly applicable ideas, taken from practical and proven cases.'
Karin Bergstein, member of the Executive Board, a.s.r.

'This book thoroughly demystifies the concept of innovation and the practicalities of how to organize it.'
Jacques van den Broek, CEO, Randstad

'What a relief to be allowed to be passionate about strategy execution.'
Lisette van Breugel, COO, Arbo Unie

'Jacques Pijl’s practical book shows once again how an organization can remain relevant in our digitalized world. Slow down, read, and then accelerate again!'
Maarten Edixhoven, CEO, Aegon Nederland

'Jacques Pijl = strategy execution and much more, of course. In this book, he reveals his thorough and effective method. Which also makes it a great read for management consultants.'
Meindert Flikkema, Academic Director, Amsterdam Centre for Management Consulting, Vrije Universiteit

'Jacques Pijl convincingly argues why it is not strategy, but the execution of it, that makes the difference. Highly recommended.'
Ronald Goedmakers, owner and CEO, Vebego International

'This book connects thought with action in a unique way. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to shape the future.'
Henk Hagoort, Chairman of the Executive Board, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and former Chairman of the Board of Directors, NPO

'This book goes to the core of change management: the hard is soft, the soft is hard. Balance is everything.'
Cees ’t Hart, CEO and President, Carlsberg and former CEO, FrieslandCampina

'Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand the differences and similarities between established companies and new enterprises. How do they successfully carry out their strategies? How do they go about innovation?'
Symen Jansma, founder and CEO, TravelBird

'Strategy is static, but the new normal is continuous, daily adjustment and adaptation of execution strategy. This book is a crystal-clear guide on how to do that.'
Patrick Kerssemakers, CEO, fonQ

'An inspiring and down-to-earth explanation of how new organizations and business models see to it that they can absorb growth while continuing to rejuvenate and innovate.'
Agnes Keune, Director of Logistical Innovation, bol.com

'A stimulating book. Execution of your strategy is just as essential as the strategy itself. Pijl’s writing makes for captivating reading.'
Hein Knaapen, Chief HR Officer, ING Bank

'In this new world full of rapid change and digital innovation, the challenge is not only to have the best strategy, but also to execute it quickly and effectively. This book offers insight, inspiration and a wealth of actual cases, making it a must read for every executive.'
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Royal DSM

'A strategy is nothing but a vision with a sell-by date, based on current information, on the best way an organization can achieve its objectives, its purpose. This book provides valuable and refreshing insights into how to turn that vision into action, how to get results and create social value through execution.'
Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi, General Director, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and former General Director, Netherlands Forensics Institute

'In a fast-changing world, effective strategy execution is a critical success factor for businesses. Strategy = Execution provides many practical examples and tips on how to get it done.'
Herna Verhagen, CEO, PostNL

'We live in a VUCA world, this is why strategy must continually be scrutinized and why its execution is even more important now. Strategy = Execution was written with passion, making it a particularly interesting and practical guide that belongs in every boardroom!'
Paul Verheul, COO, Van Oord


1 Introduction: Strength, speed and agility in strategy execution are becoming increasingly important
2 View on strategy execution
3 The Strategy = Execution Model

4 Accelerator 1: SELECT
4.1 Building block 1: ASPIRE
4.2 Building block 2: SELECT
4.3 Building block 3: APPEAL
4.4 Building block 4: ACTIVATE
4.5 Mini cases and practical tools used by successful leaders

5 Accelerator 2: INITIATE
5.1 Building block 5: MUST-HAVE
5.2 Building block 6: BREAKTHROUGH
5.3 Building block 7: EXCELLENT START
5.4 Building block 8: PSYCHOLOGICAL CHECK-IN
5.5 Mini cases and practical tools used by successful leaders

6 Accelerator 3: HARVEST
6.1 Building block 9: BENEFITS
6.2 Building block 10: DEVELOPED FURTHER
6.3 Building block 11: SHIFT GEAR
6.4 Building block 12: BRIDGE GAP
6.5 Mini cases and practical tools used by successful leaders

7 Accelerator 4: SAFEGUARD
7.1 Building block 13: ADJUST
7.2 Building block 14: OPEN ARCHITECTURE
7.3 Building block 15: LEARN
7.4 Building block 16: THE WHOLE NINE YARDS
7.5 Mini cases and practical tools used by successful leaders

8 Program- and project-based working methods are a necessary condition
9 Failure
10 Epilogue: It’s personal


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Russian translation published by Alpina Publishers:

В условиях неопределенности и стремительного развития информационных технологий компании вынуждены непрерывно реагировать на внешние изменения. Сегодня у лидеров нет времени на длительную подготовку и разработку великих стратегий, фокус их внимания сдвигается со стратегии как плана к стратегии как процессу воплощения этого плана.

Бизнес-консультант и владелец агентства Turner Consultancy Жак Пейл утверждает, что в условиях «новой нормальности» потребность в инновациях, скорости и гибкости бизнеса многократно возросла, а традиционные методы стратегического менеджмента перестали работать.

Сегодня разработка стратегии неотделима от ее воплощения, и именно реализуемость стратегии на практике, ее продуманность в самых мелочах и отличают победителей от проигравших. Обилие иллюстраций и отсылки к опыту наиболее успешных компаний делают эту книгу «мгновенной классикой» для менеджеров высшего звена, специалистов и предпринимателей, которые отвечают за воплощение стратегии и внедрение инноваций.

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