Once a year in conference rooms everywhere senior management gets together to conduct the annual strategic planning process. They collect financial and operational data, discuss trends, make forecasts, create budgets and prepare lengthy presentations about the future direction of the organization. When they’re finished, they get the whole company together to share the strategic plan. Everyone leaves the meeting feeling great about what’s been accomplished and the direction the company is going in.
That’s when things start to fall apart.
Too often, everyone goes back to work and the strategic plan goes on the shelf. With the exception of some of the sales and financial goals, it really doesn’t get looked at or reviewed much until the end of the year when it gets pulled back out to see if the plan was met. It’s a frustrating reality and one that happens all the time. The planning process was great; unfortunately, the execution wasn’t so great.
The problem stems from the huge gap that seems to exist between strategizing and executing – the strexecution point. The strexecution point is the exact point of transition between strategy and execution and is where most organizations commonly falter. In fact, 83% of all organizations fail to fully execute their strategic plan due to their inability to bridge this gap. They fail to recognize the importance of managing execution, instead allowing it to be eclipsed by the urgency of day-to-day activities.
Why is executing strategy so difficult, especially during today’s tough economic conditions, when strategy is really so crucial to both short-term and long-term success? I’d like to hear your comments on this.