According to executives, nearly half of all strategic initiatives fail.
Various studies conducted since 1995 consistently show executives will admit their strategic objectives have failed on some level almost half the time. I am not surprised by the failure rate, but I am thrilled by the honesty. When we can admit a problem, we can begin looking for a solution.
There are two reasons strategy fails. Either there is a flaw in the strategic plan, or the strategy fails in execution. The root cause of both failures is confusion around about what strategy is, and what it is not.
We are all taught we answer the“Why.?” questions first and align our team around an inspiring vision. Strategic objectives will then answer the question of “What?”. Tactics answer the question “How?” The trouble comes when strategic objectives and executional tactics are also considered strategy. We’ve all seen a set of tactics presented as a strategy. This is a classic mistake, but one that can be avoided when these concepts are understood as separate but connected elements in an overall business framework.
Most business leaders are very comfortable with the idea of creating a plan for executing strategic objectives. They know how to break a broad objective into smaller objectives, and then assign the necessary tasks and deadlines to individuals to accomplish those goals. It sounds like a straightforward process, and impressive when the plan is presented in a whiz-bang slide deck. Yet those same business leaders are surprised when the execution of that plan doesn’t quite proceed as they’d intended, or at least about half of them are.
Unfortunately, without answering the “Why” question first, there are no criteria for evaluating those objectives, or how they will be executed. So the leader can either do nothing because he cannot make a clear-minded decision on his own, or he’ll do what most leaders do, make the best guess he can and hope it doesn’t fail. Suddenly, it becomes apparent where the high failure rate of strategic initiatives comes from.
There has to be a better solution.
We’ve developed a really smart option to rapidly answer the“Why” question first. Check it out at https://visionplatforminc.com