Implementing Strategy

Turning strategy into action - a guide to strategy implementation
Image

You’ve just put the finishing touches to your business strategy. You’ve spoken to customers, researched the key market segments, and projected the financials. The Board and shareholders are aligned and agree on the priorities to take the business forward. That was the easy part!

Translating a strategy into action is a significant challenge. All too often, the benefits that were promised are delivered late, or fail to materialise at all. Management teams get distracted by the day-to-day challenges of running the business. Cross-functional initiatives fall between operating silos, budgets get reallocated and the initial momentum is lost.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Despite strategy implementation being seen as a key priority by most senior executives, fewer than 15% of organisations consider themselves to be successful when it comes to executing strategy. Estimates for strategy implementation failure rates range from 50% to 90%.

We have spent over twenty years helping clients translate strategy into action, working with a range of clients from start-ups through to large corporations and public sector organisations. Through this, we have identified a number of key principles that can help you to avoid common implementation pitfalls. By applying these principles, strategy implementation can be a more predictable, transparent and repeatable process, improving both the speed and certainty of the outcome.

Why do strategies fail?

The reasons for strategy implementation failures are complex and vary from organisation to organisation, but often include one or more of the following issues:

  • Unclear strategy
  • Lack of alignment among senior executives
  • Lack of a clear plan
  • Ongoing operational distractions
  • Lack of cross-functional collaboration
  • Poor culture / communication
Image

Strategy Implementation Framework

"Developing a strategy is not the end of the process, it is only the beginning. The strategy equips you with the map you need to set out on a transformative journey that will take your company to the next level. And, as with all journeys, the hardest thing to do once the map is in your hand is to take the first step."
The key components of the strategy implementation framework are outlined below:

FAQs

What is the failure rate for strategy implementation?
Despite strategy implementation being seen as a key priority by most senior executives, fewer
than 15% of organisations consider themselves to be successful when it comes to executing
strategy. Estimates for strategy implementation failure rates range from 50% to 90%.

Get the full report

* indicates required

Image
" Implementing your strategy is about having a plan, the right team, and some clear and simple tracking and reporting processes in place to get the job done ..."
For the first time, insights from more than 20 years of experience in strategy implementation have been collated in this essential guide to turning strategy into action.
  • Identifies common implementation pitfalls
  • Defines a clear strategy implementation framework
  • Describes essential planning pre-requisites
  • Provides recommended team and governance structures
  • Reviews essential program management processes and tools
Image