According to the 2020 Gartner Execution Gap Survey, 40% of executives think their enterprise accountability and leadership are not aligned on strategy execution. Many executive leaders don’t have a documented three- to five-year business strategy. The enterprise may exist in certain cases, but it hasn’t been adequately communicated with business and functional executives. In other circumstances, the strategy has shifted without the knowledge of many corporate executives.
It’s still difficult to bridge the gap between strategy and implementation. In this article, the author suggests five important pillars for successful strategy implementation:
1. Strategy formulation: 83% of strategies can fail due to faulty assumptions. A lack of clarity leads to unwanted surprises during execution and reduces managers’ ability to monitor uncertainties and respond accordingly. To get execution right, clarify and test relevant assumptions. This includes using mechanisms to both identify and challenge strategic assumptions so your organization can avoid unanticipated issues that derail implementation.
2. Planning: 67% of key functions are not aligned with business unit and corporate strategies. Strategic goals are often unclear or misaligned, which then creates resourcing challenges that limit execution success. To avoid confusion, begin by clarifying objectives and roles for those in the business tasked with execution. Focus the planning process on vertical alignment between the corporate centre and the business units.
3. Performance management: 58% of organizations believe their performance management systems are insufficient for monitoring the performance of strategy. Without an effective system, organizations may execute the wrong plan for months or even years before correction. Frequent reviews of the plan can determine if underperformance was the result of a bad market assessment, wrong strategy or poor execution.
4. Strategy communication: 67% of employees do not understand their role when new growth initiatives are launched. Foster a two-way dialogue about the strategy to ensure organizational buy-in. Engage critical employees with targeted communications to win support for the strategy. Take a page from your organization’s PR playbook to keep employees on board and actively engaged.
5. Organizational capacity: Many organizations fail to allocate resources for the actual implementation of new growth strategies. Strategists must locate areas where the organization loses the ability to execute due to poor coordination. The net result of poor coordination is a reduction in the total capacity of an organization’s enterprise.
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