6 Mistakes to Avoid During Strategy Execution
by John Anderson, on Oct 4, 2022 9:00:00 AM
When an organization has successful strategy execution, it is more likely to go from good to great. Strategy to execution affects every part of a business, and its effective use is essential for not only an organization’s success but its survival. A strategy to execution approach is specifically designed to help a business transform its business model to meet internal goals and external demands more readily while it improves operations.
Unfortunately, not every great strategy is executed successfully. Often, strategies that fail do so for a host of reasons. In some cases, failed strategy execution happens due to unforeseen circumstances outside an organization’s control. Still, oftentimes, failed strategy is a result of mistakes made by the organization. Here are six avoidable, commonly made mistakes in strategy execution.
Ambiguity in ownership of initiatives:
When roles and responsibilities related to strategy execution are unclear, results are doomed from the start. All employees, from senior leadership down, must understand how their work contributes to the execution of strategy. Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) are an excellent way for organizations to communicate what must be accomplished and how results will be measured. Without making it clear to everyone what their role is in the execution of strategy, different departments, teams, and employees are bound to focus on the wrong work, leading to failed execution.
Failing to effectively monitor progress:
Along with ownership of strategy, there must be regular, consistent follow-ups and progress monitoring. If this doesn’t happen, then it will be easy for employees to get off course and fail to meet goals, or worse, do the work incorrectly.
Organizations must designate recurring, scheduled check-ins to capture and share the progress of strategy execution. Without regular check-ins, organizations run the risk of creating a strategy without ensuring that it’s being executed. At the leadership level, management level, and employee level, check-ins must happen to ensure everyone is aligned on progress and what is left to be accomplished. Additionally, regular check-ins allow the organization to ensure barriers or impediments are being removed in a timely manner, and that execution remains on time and within the desired milestones.
Lack of incentives for high performers:
One critical mistake organizations make in strategy execution is failing to recognize and properly incentivize high-performing employees. Employees who consistently perform well but are not rewarded may lose motivation or be enticed away from the organization. This is detrimental to the whole organization since this caliber of employee is a valuable asset.
Employees that buy into strategy implementation and achieve results should be recognized for their efforts. This can be in the form of financial incentives (more pay or bonuses), promotion, and/or through public recognition with peers. To achieve buy-in at a larger scale within an organization, incentivizing the right behavior will help others recognize what the organization is looking for. This will lead to more employees adapting the work style of the higher performing employees, along with a culture that supports an excellent level of performance.
Changing the goal posts:
One mistake common to strategy execution in organizations is moving the targets. It’s essential for employee morale and motivation to maintain consistent goals. Ensure employees are supported in completing goals; presenting a moving target can lead to wasted effort. Be strategic about priorities and allow teams to finish their work before adding or changing goals.
Friction Between Teams or Departments:
If there is friction or miscommunication between employees, teams, or departments, it can hinder progress and delay deliverables. The mistake made here is failing to nip the problem in the bud effectively. Providing mediation and communication tools and finding satisfying solutions immediately is essential to keep the work flowing smoothly.
Poor Lines of Communication:
Having poor lines of communication is a death knell to any progress in strategy to execution. Without a clear flow of information between all levels of the organization, it will be difficult for employees to ask questions or receive help, and it will be challenging for management to communicate with their teams. The solution to this mistake is active involvement in communication along with clearly delineated lines of communication. The employees in charge of carrying out strategy need to spearhead the communication and actively solicit, or have a process for receiving, feedback.
Accelare Strategy Execution Consulting
Although these are six common mistakes, they are not the only mistakes organizations make during strategy execution. With that said, avoiding them will go a long way towards the successful execution of strategy. Prevent costly and time-consuming errors with expert consulting from Accelare. Leverage our experience to gain and maintain success more rapidly. We’ll help you outpace the competition with our strategy execution processes and techniques. Reach out to us today to start a conversation.