Monday, May 27, 2013

Seven Factors Leading to Poor Execution of Strategy

Measure! Reward. Recognize.

There are many risks and pitfalls (hidden risks) for strategy execution, besides 'culture eating strategy for breakfast', here are more factors leading to the poor execution of strategy.

1. Strategy Creep

Give lip service to the strategy.  Similar to the damage scope creep can cause to projects, Strategy Creep can be indicative of larger planning issues such as poor due diligence in the planning phase, no alignment with vision or mission, lack of clear objectives, lack of clear goals, etc.  There’s lack of resource to support strategy. 

2. Weak Leadership

There is a list of reasons why strategy implementations fail, but every reason points back to weak or ineffective leadership. Implementing new strategies is difficult and is often met with great resistance. Leaders must be willing to display the courage and determination required to continually push the initiative forward to achieve the desired goal.

3. Poor Prioritization 

Lack of prioritization of strategic objectives; lack of detail planning to support plan goal achievement. It is important but so are other priorities, and when you have to decide how to spend you time and staffing, what to communicate to the management team and troops, how your reward and what you recognize, this strategy doesn't make the cut or gets just a little of your attention and resources.

4. Poor Communication and Coordination 

Lack clear employee understanding of the strategy and what it looks like in action at each individual employee's level. And the absence of a clear strategy map. Letting the wrong pressures into the system such as "get that product out there yesterday" to beat the competition, to discover that you managed to do their work and beat yourself in the process. 

5. Mis-Translation of Strategy into Goals

Once a strategy is formulated, it has to be translated into goals. A strategy is a general outline of loose action items that create departmental goals; goals are concrete items with a measurable factor and deadlines.  Failure to recognize and manage the devil in the details. When you designed the strategy, you may not have understood that the execution was going to impact other areas of the business in ways you didn't anticipate. Stay engaged.

6. Lack of Governance Structure 

The failure can often be linked with poor execution of strategy. You can have the greatest strategic plan in the world, but it will be worthless if the organizations are not accountable to anyone for execution of their tasks.
- Organizational misalignment/poor strategy cascading (to business units, departments, and individual goal plans)
- Lack of active involvement in strategy execution governance management at the executive and organizational leader level 

7. Lack of Meaningful Measurement

 Failure to Measure. What gets measured gets done, especially when there are reward and recognition involved. Ensure you have something to measure. Understand time frames for when to expect to see a difference. Execution of a strategy takes much longer to show up in meaningful metrics than originally conceived. Have measurements to track (part of governance practice) and track performance, providing management and staff communication on progress, and recognition of milestones & misses and the people who are achieving the desired results. Measure! Reward. Recognize.


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