Bridging the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
On average, companies fail to meet 20% of their strategic objectives due to inadequate strategy implementation.
Strategy has very little value until it is put into practice but too many companies focus their time and effort into strategy design but neglect delivery and implementation.
What do the most successful companies do to close their strategy-execution gap and how can you close yours?
What Distinguishes the Most Successful Companies from the Rest?
A Harvard Business Review study examined how 49 of the most successful companies spent their time and how that differed to other organisations.
They found that compared to other businesses, the most successful companies spent:
- 83% more time focusing on resolving issues and addressing concerns
- 54% more time setting direction for their teams and crafting a well thought-through organisational vision
- 30% more time reviewing employees’ development plans and focusing on personal and professional development
- 28% more time engaging the organisation in discussions bout enablers and barriers to execution and allowing employees to voice concerns
- 25% more time calculating financial metrics and allocating resources to these
- 25% more time identifying stakeholder needs
- 20% more time defining their strategy and translating a high-level vision into clear, actionable goals
- 14% more time checking their progress against their strategic goals by reviewing metrics
- 13% more time preparing for the future and putting action plans in place
- 12% more time aligning the organisation to the strategy
In essence, the main factor that distinguishes the most successful companies from the rest is that they spend more time on the day-to-day implementation of their strategic plans.
What Can You Do to Close Your Organisation’s Strategy-Execution Gap?
In this rapidly changing world, moving quickly from strategy design to delivery is key.
To overcome the strategy-execution gap, strategy developers must understand the challenges of strategy execution and the need for a comprehensive delivery approach.
Organisations must continually monitor the businesses environment and adjust both their strategy and execution accordingly.
Deciding where to start when trying to close your strategy-execution gap can be overwhelming however, HBR’s 9 Steps to Perfect Strategy Execution and Control can make the process much easier:
Align your top team by ensuring the Board and Senior Executive team all buy-in and agree with the strategy.
Translate your vision into clear, actionable goals.
Connect the strategy to the rest of the organisation by sharing it with your employees.
Allocate actions, tasks and objectives to individual team members.
Empower your people to execute the strategy by ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to succeed.
Share progress, performance and achievements with your teams.
Feedback to individual employees, teams and departments of their progress.
Motivate employees through incentives.
Acknowledge individuals’ performance and celebrate their success.
The most important thing to remember when trying to close your organisation’s strategy-execution gap is that action is key.
“Vision without action is merely a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”