Do Not Overthink Business Strategy as a Leader

Do Not Overthink Business Strategy as a Leader
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It Is Tempting to Overthink Business Strategy as a Leader
Even though you passionately want your strategy retreat to succeed, avoid the common trap of wanting to overthink business strategy as a leader.   When devising a business strategy, there is a point at which you can over-design. over-analyze, and over-think. Sometimes “good enough” is the best first step to test out your strategic priorities with your key stakeholders.

In fact, too much thinking and evaluating stalls decision-making, delays execution, and takes up valuable time that you could be using to actively involve your key stakeholders in the strategy design process.

Making Your Strategy Good Enough
There is a whole school of thought that a “good enough” business strategy may be the one you should adopt – at least for the time being. Our organizational alignment research found that strategies just need to be clear enough, believable enough and implementable enough to rally people behind them. Not perfect.  And certainly not static.

This is good news. As a leader you do not need to overthink business strategy.  It saves leaders from analysis-paralysis, and gives teams the chance to adjust course as inevitable and unexpected changes occur.

Start Implementing, Learning, and Adjusting
Sometimes it is advantageous to begin strategy implementation before each little cog in the wheel is fully in place. You know there will be adjustments needed no matter how well you plan. And it seems we are far better at planning than doing.

  • Fortune Magazine’s recent study revealed that 82% of Fortune 500 CEOs feel their organization did an effective job of strategic planning but only 14% of those CEOs indicated that their organization did an effective job of implementing the strategy.
  • And Harvard Business Publishing gives even less credit to implementation. They say that only 12% of companies successfully execute their strategy.

The Bottom Line
Yes, plan carefully and thoughtfully enough to get buy-in and a commitment for action. But do not get so caught up in the nitty-gritty of strategic planning that you miss the right time to act. Recognize that perfection is really unattainable. Be clear in communicating the forward direction; make sure they support you and understand where the company is headed and why; then go for it.

If you want to know if your strategy is good enough to get started, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Strategic Readiness


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