Most Strategies Fail
If you’ve stopped to read this, there’s good news – you’re not alone. While that may not make you feel any better right now, there’s plenty to be encouraged about.
For decades, leaders have created strategies and have failed to give their teams the right tools to execute successfully. With this leadership oversight, siloes have been created, monitoring has been challenging, and failure to execute has become common.
“Even the best strategic plans can fall flat without the right execution. In fact, 90 percent of businesses fail to reach their strategic goals, which researchers believe is due to a gap between strategic planning and execution.” ~ Catherine Cote of Harvard Business School.
Leaders Are Finally Changing Their Strategy
I have seen a tremendous shift in the past several years, and leadership is now focusing on providing their teams with the right tools for strategy execution. However, I’d like to offer a few words of caution because while your team does need the right tools, they probably need more. Below are three key thoughts to keep in mind:
1) Strategy Execution is Not Project Management
Let’s agree – The world is flush with Project Management tools. Yes, the newer versions have sleek and updated user interfaces, but your team likely doesn’t need another project management tool. Be cautious of “project management” tools marketing themselves for strategy execution.
2) The Right Tool Defines the Work of Strategy
Let me make up with my project management friends here. Project management tools are needed, but only after you determine the key value drivers of your strategy. More than likely, your team needs help mapping these key value drivers through the various levels of your stakeholders and stakeholder teams. Once this work gets subdivided into Strategic Implementation Roadmaps, there are still a few more steps until each team clearly defines the projects to be managed. Make sure you’re looking for a team that excels at defining and mapping.
3) The Right Tool Should Make Monitoring Progress Simple
I say this with caution because this is in no way, shape, or form about a slick dashboard. The success of what a dashboard delivers is a result of the governance, objectives, and key results you establish. You’ll also want to know whether the strategies your teams are implementing are working. To make this vision a reality, you’ll need a strategy operating system (call it a tool) that specializes in building a baseline and establishing a trendline by OKR. This type of logic can’t be an afterthought.
Let’s Get Your Strategy Right
Working through this can be challenging. If you need more advice beyond this post, I’m happy to jump on Zoom and help you further your strategy implementation efforts. Here’s what that looks like:
Step 1 – You Schedule a Fact-Finding Meeting with us to help us learn where you are in your strategy – (This will be a Zoom meeting, and I’ll be on a whiteboard…nerdy, but it works.)
Step 2 – I’ll summarize my thoughts and provide direction on how your strategy execution plan should be architected. We’ll look at everything from your strategic goals to your past approaches, and I’ll share my thoughts on what will work best and why.
Step 3 – The ball is in your court – Take our design and implement it yourself, or chat further about what it might look like for us to partner to ensure your success. We’ve utilized our system for over a decade, so getting started is a breeze.