We’ve noted this before, but some sobering statistics from the Harvard Business Review bear repeating:
- 85% of management teams spend less than one hour a month on strategy issues.
- 90% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution.
A lot of companies are getting better at the strategic planning process. They’re beginning to understand what we’ve emphasized for some time now: The most effective strategic plan focuses on 2-3 strategic initiatives at most, generally over a one-year period. Gone are the days of massive strategic overhauls and long-range forecasts spanning the next five to ten years. So with this in mind, many companies are putting together more impressive-looking plans for their foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, these organizations focus on the sizzle, not the steak. They are very poor at execution.
Why does this happen? Partly, it’s due to a lack of communication within the company. Most members of the senior executive team understand—or are at least familiar with—the newly produced strategic plan. But going deeper into the organization, it’s far more common to find that few front-line employees have any real grasp of the plan or how to go about executing it.
Another problem: lack of commitment. More than 80% of businesses spend less than one month on strategic planning and execution. Small wonder, then, that little gets done.
Also, many companies link strategic planning with finances exclusively. Wrong! Three elements—processes, people, finances—should always be an integral part of the plan and execution.
There’s no need to come up with a complicated formula to offset these negatives. It’s really very simple. Action = Results.
Our step-by-step process is also pretty straightforward. To move from the strategic planning stage to the execution stage, we focus on these steps:
MANAGE AGAINST YOUR VISION AND STRATEGY
Realtors say the secret is “location, location, location.” For success in strategic planning, it’s execution, execution, execution.” As CNC Strategy Cloud Solutions CEO and Co-Founder Mitch Ellner says, “Don’t allow yourself to be caught in the 90% failure part!”