Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Strategy Execution Pitfalls

The pitfalls shouldn't stop you from moving forward, but keep you focus on the road ahead.

The strategy is important for organization’s future growth, but it’s EXECUTION leading businesses from A to B, the journey is rocky and the road is thorny, and more than two third of business execution efforts fail to reach the expectation, so how to avoid the strategy execution pitfalls?

(1) Lack of Accountability: If the strategy is based on meeting outside observers' expectations of what the organization "ought" to do, instead of what it needs to do from the 'heart" of business, then it will fail. Eventually the rank-and-file figure out whether the leadership is serious or not. When there is no consequence for making mistakes, there is no point in investing the time needed to make sure that decisions are sound.

(2) Multi-tasking: There are simple experiments that directly illustrate the negative impact of multitasking on productivity, the study suggests that the biggest obstacle to executing on strategy or implementing new ideas is that people are too busy meeting too many other demands already. FOCUS is essential to execution success, and if you take on too many things at once you seldom succeed with any of them. 

 (3) The villain of "Past Success": Such pitfalls are especially dangerous for the large legacy organizations that had a fairly long-running history of success and growth. That past success obfuscated a need for a change in strategic direction at a critical point in time.  Senior executives can be blinded by their previous success and lulled into a false sense of  security that success sometimes brings.

(4) Lack of risk tolerance culture: You should reward ‘intelligent’ failure; mistakes are allowed, but you want people to start from a specific set of tested assumptions, rather than just shooting from the hip, learn from mistakes and adapt. You should promote and courage drivers, that small group of entrepreneurs in your organization who are able to  take an idea and passionately fight for it.

(5) Not setting Priority right: Another implicit organizational consideration that should explicit is the need for PRIORITIZATION. Resources are never infinite so not all ideas can be incubated nor should they be, as has already been observed. If there are ten ideas on the radar then making the "right" decision about which to discard is at least as important as selecting the much smaller number which can be taken forward for experimenting.

Leadership, methodology, culture, process, and technology, etc are all key success factors in strategy execution, organizations just have to learn from the failure, stay focus on ultimate business visions, and move steadily toward the final destination.


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