Over the last month I have listened to seven different leadership teams discuss their strategic plans and what has happened along their execution path.
The “best” team had actual measurements in place so at least they knew where the blockages to execution were. Not that they had done much about relieving those blockages.
Another team openly admitted the beautiful slide decks that were created a year earlier and cascaded down the organisation in well-orchestrated town hall type meetings had not been opened since.
Three teams were forced to admit that no one on their team, including the Managing Directors of each organisation had done anything regarding their strategy since the last annual strategic offsite.
Lastly, one team conceded that they didn’t actually have a strategy and therefore had little to audit in terms of why it had failed!
Unfortunately nothing is new in these insights. Leadership teams regularly do not get to execute their strategic plans. One study suggested that over 65% of large companies failed in the execution of strategy. Yet we keep producing MBA graduates from esteemed business schools all over the world who study Porter, Prahalad, Hamel and other great writers on how to create strategy. So what is going wrong?