What Typically Factors that Prevent Strategy Execution?
Wouldn’t it be great to proactively prepare for the most common factors that prevent strategy execution? Even the most carefully conceived business strategies often fail in the execution stage. Between designing the strategic plan for success and reaching the goal with the entire organization there are often a breakdowns.
Three Top Factors that Prevent Strategy Execution
From our twenty-plus years of experience of strategic clarity facilitation, the broken implementation path can often be due to three basic factors:
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies. High levels of strategic clarity occur when the strategic direction and the accompanying plan are understood, believed in and implementable in the eyes of those who must lead and implement it.
Strategic clarity must occur at each and every level of the company for people to put their hearts and minds fully behind it.
The highest performing companies actively involve and engage their workforce in the strategic planning, design, and implementation processes to create solid alignment on three fronts: strategy, culture, and talent.
An Updated Approach to Strategy Execution
One way to protect against factors that prevent strategy execution is to adopt an updated approach to strategy implementation. Rather than follow the more traditional waterfall method of building your strategic plan according to a strict project management model, try a more agile and progressive plan of action.
Instead of traditional straight-line thinking encourage an iterative and more inclusive strategy cascading approach that can get you to the same destination via a potentially more innovative and flexible route.
Three Shifts to Improve Strategy Execution
The traditional waterfall approach to strategy can certainly work in situations where the objectives, goals, scope, or circumstances are relatively simple and straightforward. But when the strategy’s success involves a need for the organization to adapt to new ways of doing things, a more flexible and iterative approach will be far more successful.
Here are the three shifts in focus for a more flexible and successful approach to strategy implementation:
In fact, a recent study by Bain of more than 400 companies backed this up. The most successful executive teams overwhelmingly rated their ability to effectively engage their organizations as the No. 1 factor in their success – ranking it more than 50% higher than any other factor.
Leaders must to be able to translate their vision in a way that provides their “implementers” with clear directions, and guidelines that make sense for teams to be able to craft their own plans that will work.
Everyone needs to know how (and be empowered) to make and communicate smart course corrections along the way.
The Bottom Line
Unless you have invented the next iPhone that people just cannot live without, even the most promising strategies are just wishful thinking unless everyone is on the same page and aligned to make complex change happen. Get clear at the top, empower your teams to make it happen, and ensure leaders have the skills to be successful.
To learn more about how to overcome the common factors that prevent strategy execution, download 3 of the Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy
Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work
Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most
Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition
Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned
Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance
Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance