Top 4 Strategy Traps to Avoid

Top 4 Strategy Traps to Avoid
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Do You Need to Jump Start a Stalled Strategy?
You are not alone if the results from your strategy retreat are disappointing.  IBM reports that less than 10% of strategies are effectively executed and our organizational alignment research finds that strategic clarity is 50% lower outside of the executive suite.  What are the top strategy traps to avoid to stay ahead of the pack?

Strategy Must Go Through Culture and People
Strategy execution is the necessary complement of strategy definition and planning. It’s what brings to fruition the desired results.  To get those results however, your strategy must go through your corporate culture (how things get done) and your people (their skills and knowledge) to be fully implemented.  And leaders must identify and plan for the most common strategy traps to avoid.

Most Strategies Fail to Make it Through Their Culture and People
It is at the point of strategy implementation that so many well formulated business strategies fail. In fact, a recent global study conducted by the Project Management Institute found that almost two-thirds of firms struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and day-to-day implementation.  Not a surprise to experienced leaders.

Four Ways to Jump Start a Stalled Strategy
While there are many variables at play when it comes to strategy execution, four strategy traps to avoid consistently show up at companies that struggle the most.

  1. A Lapse of Leadership
    If your strategy execution is lacking, the first place to look is at the leadership team.  Leaders must be ruthlessly clear about, committed to, and supportive of the strategic priorities and actions to make them happen.  When the leaders themselves do not demonstrate sufficient commitment, how can you expect the workforce to fully buy-into your strategic initiatives?

    Make sure you have the right leadership team and mindset to execute your strategy.

  2. Lack of Focus
    Strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.  For a strategy to have a chance to be fulfilled it must be clear, believable, and implementable in your unique culture and marketplace.  If you have too many priorities (more than five) or frequently shifting priorities, you can bet your employees will struggle to implement your strategic plans with consistency, commitment, and strategic urgency.

    Make sure you focus on the critical few moves that will have the most impact on the strategy’s success.

  3. Insufficient Human and Financial Resources
    Often, strategy execution fails because the company does not have the skills, personnel, systems, processes, or resources in place to fully initiate and maintain strategic drive and direction.  Strategy implementation may require hiring new experts, developing new competencies, reallocating resources, or increasing investments.

    Make sure that your people have what they need to get the job done.

  4. Unmanaged and Unmeasured Progress
    Strategy and organizational change without a culture of accountability is just wishful thinking.  For change to occur, people must know if the things they are doing are generating the desired results in the right way.

    Make sure you create clear, relevant, timely, fair, and credible methods of exposing and giving honest feedback on how the strategy implementation is progressing.

The Bottom Line
Whatever your strategy, don’t let the hard work invested in designing it go to waste. Marshal the resources you need, keep the strategic focus where it will count, and hold yourselves accountable for results to ensure you do not fall prey to the top strategy traps to avoid

To learn more about strategy traps to avoid and how to create strategic clarity for your teams, download How to Know If Your Business Strategy is Clear Enough?

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