The 5 most common strategy execution challenges

And recommendations about what to do about them.

Studies show that on average 67 percent of companies fall short in achieving their strategic goals. In the wise words of Stephen Covey, “Most leaders would agree they’d be better off having an average strategy with superb execution, then a superb strategy with poor execution.”

So why is strategy execution so difficult? Is it process, people, systems? Who or what is responsible for the lack of strategic goal attainment? This article will address the most common strategy execution challenges while also providing change management recommendations that can be quickly adopted to begin the transformation to a highly effective strategy execution company.

Let’s lay out a typical scenario that happens in many organizations today. The leadership team schedules a strategic planning offsite retreat where the brain trust of the company comes together to create the latest winning strategy. After two days or so, the team has agreed to a set of strategic goals critical to the growth and—potentially—the viability of the company. The strategic plan is pulled together in a nice tidy document and plans are made to share it at an upcoming all-staff meeting.


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