Middle Managers’ Role in Strategy Implementation – The Lynchpin of Success

Programme Code: CRS-N-0044215 (Funding Validity Period: 03 Nov 2017 - 30 Sep 2020)


A results oriented workshop designed to enhance middle managers' capabilities in translating strategy into actions

You can have the greatest strategy in the world but if you cannot implement it, it is not worth the paper it is written on. While senior leaders are the mastermind of strategy, middle managers are the lynchpin of success in strategy implementation. It is said that the “devil is in the details”. Hence, it is extremely important that middle managers are able to tailor an execution plan which effectively supports the strategy.

This programme is designed with the aim to enhance middle managers’ capabilities in translating strategy into actions.

Next Course Starts On08 May 2019 (Wed) See Full Schedule
Fee SGD909.50* (as low as SGD60.35* after maximum funding) Learn more

1 Day


Singapore Management University

Learning Objectives

Learning Outcomes


Programme Outline

1.   How Middle Managers Can Influence Change

Middle managers make up the difference between success and failure; therefore, ignoring their role toward implementing the strategy can be devastating. 
Right at the beginning, this session addresses commonly asked questions: “Can middle managers influence change and how would they do it?” It explains how they can create success by using their influence to change attitudes and actions, and emphasizes why small changes have to happen. 


2.   Four Essential Implementation Activities

Middle managers need to explain why the small changes of implementation have to occur and exactly what their people need to do.  
From Bridges’ research over the years and our work with clients, four essential activities that middle managers who are successful in strategy implementation do consistently have been identified. These four activities are explained using research, stories and examples.  


3.   Understanding the Implementation Challenge

A framework is needed to guide people through the implementation journey and identify the right actions. 
Organisations are guilty of repeating the same mistakes when implementing strategy. This session explains why more implementations fail than succeed and why change management can’t be adopted for implementing strategy. It shares the framework used by organisations around the world. Called the Implementation Compass™, this framework explains the eight areas required for excellence in execution through stories and examples. 


4.   The Importance of Being Stewards of Strategy

Implementing strategy is tough, yet by doing it well, it becomes a powerful business differentiator. 
How capable are middle managers in strategy implementation? This session gives participants the opportunity to apply the eight areas of excellence for execution by assessing themselves while also identifying areas for personal improvement on the job. 


5.   Facilitated Discussion Using “Square Wheels”

Square Wheels is a tool for generating action learning, reflective perspective, participative involvement and a sense of ownership. 
Square Wheels takes the form of a multimedia presentation in which each picture tells a different story. Some of the illustrations have specific themes and messages but most can have a variety of meanings and linkages. With a clear objective in mind (e.g., manage change, enhance communications, identify sales issues, etc.), Square Wheels is used to facilitate interactive discussions that result in structured responses to current issues. This assessment tool, developed from Bridges’ research in how leaders roll out strategy, also provides an opportunity for participants to develop personal capabilities.


6.   Lessons Learned from a Case Study

Case studies are an integral part of any participant’s learning. 
This final session helps participants learn from a case study about how strategy was implemented in one company. The case study itself provides a platform for sharing ideas and applying key lessons learned throughout the workshop.

Who Should Attend

This programme is suitable for supervisors and middle managers who wish to enhance their skills in:

  • translating the strategy into day-to-day actions.
  • coaching staff members through the transition.
  • modelling the right behaviours and right actions.
  • providing feedback on the implementation's progress to people both above and below them.


Participants have to meet a minimum attendance rate of 75% and are required to undergo an assessment at the end of the programme. Only upon meeting the minimum attendance rate and passing of the assessment, will participants be issued a Certificate of Completion.

Participants who failed the assessment will be given a chance for re-assessment at a re-assessment fee of SGD214.00 (incl. 7% GST). Each participant is allowed up to 2 re-assessments. The first re-assessment has to be taken within 1 month following the last attempt and will be held on a weekday specified by SMU Academy.

Participants who meet the minimum attendance rate but do not achieve a pass for the assessment will be issued a Certificate of Participation.

Learning Activities

Instructional Methods

This highly engaging, interactive and results oriented workshop focuses on the middle managers’ critical role. Through group discussions, paired sharing, individual reflection, mini case studies, neuroscience and videos, it addresses key issues following this outline:

  • How Middle Managers Can Influence Change
  • Four Essential Implementation Activities
  • Understanding the Implementation Challenge
  • The Importance of Being Stewards of Strategy
  • Facilitated Discussion Using "Square Wheels"

Fees and Funding

FULL FEE S$909.50* per person

For Singapore Citizens / Permanent Residents

Fee payable to SMU after 70% SSG FundingS$272.85* per person


Fee payable to SMU after 70% SSG Funding & 20% SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced SubsidyS$102.85* per person
For Singapore Citizens aged 35 years & above (13 years & above for Persons with Disabilities) earning a monthly income of not more than SGD2,000Fee payable to SMU after 70% SSG Funding & 25% Workfare Training Support SchemeS$60.35* per person
For SMEs* sponsoring their employees who are Singapore Citizens / Permanent ResidentsFee payable to SMU after 70% SSG Funding & 20% Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (Please refer to below for ETSS criteria)S$102.85* per person

*(incl. 7% GST)

Fees include:

  • tuition
  • course materials
  • instructor's fee
  • 2 tea break refreshments per day (excl. lunch) during the module
  • 1 assessment per person for each module

Re-assessment fee at S$214.00 (incl. 7% GST) per attempt, up to a maximum of 2 re-assessments per person. Please note that re-assessment fee is not supported by the SSG Funding.

The first re-assessment has to be taken within 2 weeks after the notification of result. The first re-assessment will be held on a weekday specified by SMU Academy and conducted from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

SkillsFuture Credit

Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above, and self-funding may use their SkillsFuture Credit (up to SGD500) to defray part of the course fee. With effect from 19 May 2017, SkillsFuture Credit claim will only be paid directly to the training provider from SkillsFuture Singapore.  Claim should be submitted via the Training Exchange (click here) and SMU Academy has to be informed on the Claim ID no. and claim amount in order for the correct payable course fee amount to be reflected on the invoice.  Please click here for the SkillsFuture Credit Booklet / User Guide on how to claim for SkillsFuture Credit.  

IMPORTANT For the Middle Managers’ Role in Strategy Implementation – The Lynchpin of Success programme, please search for course code CRS-N-0044215 for your SkillsFuture Credit claim submission.

Absentee Payroll

Companies who sponsor their employees for the programme are eligible to apply for absentee payroll via the SkillsConnect system.  For more information, please visit SkillsConnect.

Enhanced Training Support for SMEs

SMEs must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Organisation must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • At least 30% local shareholding by Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
  • Employment size of not more than 200 (at group level) or with annual sales turnover (at group level) of not more than SGD100 million
  • Trainees must be hired in accordance with the Employment Act and fully sponsored by their employers for the course
  • Trainees must be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP)

All NTUC union members and self-funding are eligible for UTAP funding (up to SGD250 per annum).  Please click here for more information on UTAP and application.


Start Date(s)
Intake Information
INTAKE 625 May 2018 (9.00am – 6.00pm)Fully Subscribed
INTAKE 71 Nov 2018 (9.00am – 6.00pm)Fully Subscribed
INTAKE 88 May 2019 (9.00am – 6.00pm)4 Seats Left

* Participants are required to take an assessment from 5.00pm – 6.00pm.

Speaker/Trainer Bio

Founder & CEO, Bridges Business Consultancy Int

A recognised pioneer and expert in strategy implementation, Robin Speculand is driven to transform strategy implementation globally by inspiring leaders to adopt a different approach.

The founder and CEO of Bridges Business Consultancy Int, he created the Implementation Hub, the world’s first online portal dedicated to strategy implementation. His work begins as clients are crafting their strategy and starting to think about the implementation. This international bestselling author has sold more than 40,000 books worldwide and been featured on BBC, Channel News Asia and CNBC. His latest book and fourth in the series is Excellence in Execution – HOW to Implement Your Strategy, Morgan James NY.

Robin is a masterful event facilitator and an engaging keynote speaker. His work has been featured widely in the media, including BBC Global, Gulf Connoisseur, CNBC, Channel News Asia, Oman Observer, Sunday Telegraph and Financial Times.


The programme helps to visualise how managers can implement strategies in a more effective way.
Nafisah Binte Zakari
Senior Executive, Singapore Mediation Centre, Singapore Academy of Law
Value in making it so clear that the implementation is key!
Sharon Tan
Vice President, HR/OD Asia, Grohe Pacific Pte Ltd
The trainer himself was the greatest value as his delivery was engaging and very interactive.
Jasmynne Shi
Senior Executive, Awareness, Communications & Education, Breast Cancer Foundation
It’s an eye opener to know how important is the role of middle manager in strategy implementation.
Joey Oh
Senior Property Executive, DTZ Facilities & Engineering (S) Limited
Given me a check and balance on what I am adopting. It will definitely help my organisation.
Eric Wan
Sales Manager, Jason Electronics Pte Ltd
The ability to implement a strategy well is crucial to the success of the strategy. The implementation compass is a very valuable tool.
Jasmine Teo
Group CSR Manager, SingTel
A more systematic way of improving implementation, especially the role of the leaders and middle managers. I like the “Square Wheel” analogy.
Koh Kok Sin
Director (OD & Admin), NTUC FairPrice
Give me a fresh perspective on strategy and implementation in an R&D organisation.
Lai Kin Seng
HAPL, DSO National Laboratories
Unravel many insights about better middle management.
Andrew Mun
IT Infrastructure Manager, Chubb Pacific Underwriting Management Services
It has provided a practical and tested framework to implement strategy meaningfully and effectively.
Wu Tuck Leong
Head of Risk & Compliance, Emirates National Oil Company (Singapore)

Additional Details

SkillsFuture Skills Framework

This programme is approved under the SkillsFuture Generic Skills and Competencies (GSC):

  • Leadership (Intermediate)
  • Teamwork (Intermediate) 


Certified Professional Business Manager (CPBM)

The Middle Managers’ Role in Strategy Implementation – The Lynchpin of Success programme is part of the Professionals Management Toolkit (PMT) Series. Participants who successfully complete 6 programmes offered by SMUA-HCML within 5 years will receive the Certified Professional Business Manager (CPBM). For example:

Please click here for CPBM details and list of programmes.


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