Wednesday 4 July 2012

Why most strategies fail to get executed

There are 5 main reasons why most strategies fail to get executed.

#1. Strategy and execution plans are seen as being the same thing.

People everywhere confuse strategy and planning, two completely different disciplines. Think about the two together at your peril. Strategy is about how and planning about execution, who will do what and when. The consequences of confusing the two, or thinking about the two at the same time, are usually that great strategies never see the light of day, they get buried in massive documents that just gather dust, or worse, great strategies never get executed.

#2. Strategy is created by people too far removed from the coal face

Sadly many boards of directors are made up of old men.  Are the skills these people used to be successful in the past matching the needs of the present and the future?  Some people in these positions don’t understand the present or the future.  They think that what worked in the past, works now.  We are therefore in the vice like grip of stupidity and idiocy.

Someone said that the definition of stupidity is
“Expecting a different result by continuing to do the same old thing”

Someone else said that the definition of idiocy is
“Doing something different and still getting the same result”

#3. Strategy is driven by economics rather than interconnectedness

One of the tragedies of my lifetime is that society and the environment have become part of the economy rather than the other way around.

Everywhere we have a debt crisis because they people keep talking about economics without fixing the systems that would mean the financial world could recover from the horrible self-created mess it is in.

Bill Clinton won an election based on the strategy ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ And his strategy was proved to be right.  Now however we have become stupid about the economy!

#4.  Strategic intent and strategic thinking and feeling aren’t in alignment when we create our strategy

Most people who create strategies haven’t got their whys or hows right therefore whatever strategy they decided on is flawed.  Please read more on this in my blog here.

#5. The people responsible for executing strategy haven’t been involved in the creation of the strategy and therefore don’t understand it and/or don’t own it

This is the biggy.

Your employees are the main executors of your strategy.  How do you involve them in determining your strategy? Do they have their own execution plans?

Any fool can download a strategic planning template from the internet and fill in the blanks or hire an outside facilitator to help them fill in the blanks.  Sadly most business owners and leaders are still doing both.

It is another path altogether to actually understand what strategy actually is - the compass that is the reference point that drives our daily decision making.

And the road less traveled?  This is when each employee has their own piece of the execution plan. 

Each employee knowing and owning their piece of the execution plan that is a part of a giant quilt map is what 21st century leaders ensure.

How remarkable is your compass and your quilt map?

I may be able to help you. Find all about my No BS Mentoring programs here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

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