3 Signs of Good and Bad Strategies

angel and devil showing Good and Bad Strategies

Ineffective Strategies Hinder Growth
Too many leaders settle for strategic growth plans that won’t work.  Why?  Because they don’t understand the difference between good and bad strategies, their strategic plans are flawed from the beginning.

Strategies that lack an understanding of the key challenges that need to be overcome, have an insufficient focus, or that take an unrealistic approach are just wishful thinking.  The best leaders know not to settle or be fooled by a bad strategy – one that does not represent the hard work it takes to design and implement a good strategy.

3 Signs of a Bad Corporate Strategy
A bad strategy is likely to be loaded with slogans and wishful thinking.  A bad strategy:

  1. Fails to Address the Organization’s Real Problems
    A bad strategy fails to address the true root causes of stalled growth, ineffectiveness, and subpar performance. They also tend to underestimate unintended consequences and the inevitable time delay between action and results.
  2. Tries to Do Too Much
    Strategic planning should not reflect a laundry list of “to do’s” or strive for an unachievable summit. Company strategy should focus on the critical few attainable strategic actions that will make the most difference.  While every business can benefit from improvements on multiple fronts, diluted, confusing, or impractical plans do not work.
  3. Is Misaligned
    Strategies that are misaligned with the company culture, the people who must execute it, or the market forces at play are just swimming upstream. Bad strategies tend to fight the natural flow of how work gets done and the capabilities required to be successful.

A Good Corporate Strategy
A strategy that can be effectively followed and that can guide an organization toward a successful future has three fundamental elements.  A good strategy:

  1. Recognizes the Fundamental Business Challenges
    What, specifically, is hampering your business from achieving your vision? Until you identify, accept, and understand the key obstacles along your path to success, you can’t begin to make the kind of progress you seek.
  2. Focuses on the Critical Few
    A good strategy identifies the crucial two or three attainable strategic priorities that need to be solved before your business goals can be reached. These leverage points should maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.  The best strategies ruthlessly focus efforts, energy, and resources on just a few important areas.
  3. Creates Alignment
    Our organizational alignment research found that highly aligned companies grow 58% faster, are 72% more profitable, and engage employees 16.8-to-1. If you seek high performance, make sure that your strategy, culture and talent are aligned.

The Bottom Line
Strategic planning is hard work.  Make sure that your efforts to craft a strategy are worthwhile.  Effective strategies address the difficulties ahead, focus on the few moves that will make a difference, and set up the aligned actions required to succeed.

To learn more about good and bad strategies, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Strategy Now

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