Why a Brilliant Business Strategy Is Not Enough

Many leaders believe that having a first-rate business strategy is the key to bolstering a company’s growth, gaining a competitive edge and increasing shareholder value. But if that’s true, why do so many companies with great strategies fail? And what then, is the real key to success?

According to a study by Neilson, Martin and Powers in the Harvard Business Review article, 1,000 organizations in over 50 countries reported that 60% of respondents rated themselves poor at turning strategy into action.

“Clarity, alignment and commitment are the three ingredients missing from business strategies that fail.”

In his book, The 8th Habit, author Steven Covey explains some of the common road blocks to great strategy execution:

  • Only a third of employees say they understand their company’s direction
  • Only 22% have a sight-line between their own goals and their organization’s
  • Only 9% are highly energized and committed

So what’s missing from many organizations’ strategy execution? It’s clarity. Is everyone crystal clear on the actions and decisions for which he or she is accountable?

Alongside clarity are its close cousins alignment and commitment. Are your employees’ objectives and plans laser-aligned with the company’s strategic priorities? Are they unstoppable when it comes to their commitment levels?

To achieve success, organizations must be able to maintain clarity, alignment and commitment to achieve everything from short and long-term success, to geographic expansion, new product introduction, and productivity by site, time to fulfill orders and retention of key people?


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