Five Reasons Most Companies Fail at Strategy Execution | INSEAD Knowledge

If your organisational culture has these five characteristics, all attempts to implement strategic change will likely be doomed.

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It’s no longer a secret that most companies struggle with strategy execution. McKinsey research tells us, for example, that 70 percent of change efforts fall short of desired results. The financial losses implied by statistics like these are massive, and corporate leaders have taken notice.

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Today’s senior leaders realise that implementation is at least half of the leadership challenge when it comes to improving performance via strategic change.

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Too frequently, however, they seek solutions in the wrong place.

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When I speak to executives about what constitutes effective strategy execution, they very often emphasise the importance of “communication”. If they could only master the art of communicating the new corporate strategy, employee alignment would be guaranteed and resistance overcome.

Of course, having a clear and consistent message is essential. But within organisational culture there can be powerful, unspoken messages that contradict official rhetoric. Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I believe the same could be said of strategy execution.


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