Monday, October 7, 2013

The Common Weakness in Setting Strategic Objective

The effectiveness of the strategy is as strong as the weakest link between strategy and execution. 

Every organization has a strategy, but more than 70% of strategic planning fail to achieve the expected result, so what is the most common weakness in setting strategic objectives? And how to avoid pitfalls in strategy execution?

Fail to determine the right strategic altitude of the objectives: Such as objectives are mostly financial-related that produce unbalanced strategy; or sometimes strategy management teams develop very low-level objectives at the corporate level that are meant to be at operational level. Objectives are not aligned or mutually achievable. What is the most relevant approach to getting objectives aligned, is it the value generation process based on the organizational strategic map or based on the organizational stakeholders? Most businesses combine their divisional plans together and rarely ensure they are cohesive and all aligned. Always ensure that objectives, actions, tasks, are aimed at the appropriate level in the organization - so that everyone understands their role and responsibility. Cascade the strategy through the workforce from the management to the people that actually do the work.

Objectives are not actionable within the organization. The objective setting should be a collaboration between line management and the top leadership for ownership and commitment to implementation. And invite customers involved sufficiently in the setting of the strategic objectives. This calls for common clarity of purpose and a deliberate focus on the crystal ball by the corporate leadership, line management, and the operational staff. All strategies must be communicated to individuals by "translating" the objectives into actions according to the individual's role and abilities. The key is communication, communication, and more communication. Often, objectives are not actionable because they have not been communicated properly to the people who are responsible for their delivery. How do you expect organizational performance if you do not link the organizational objectives to individual objectives? What about norms and standards. Another challenge is unspecific objectives for staff whose performance cannot easily be measured

Change Management does not go hand-in-hand with strategy execution. Using norms and standards for creating the desired behavior is the fact that they have to be made operational. Operational in the way those colleagues can give each other feedback directly applies on the way they work and in direct relation to the considering norm or standard.

Strategy without action is daydreaming, and action without strategy is the nightmare; The effectiveness of your strategy depends on how you can overcome such most common weakness in setting strategic objectives, and execute it seamlessly.


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