The majority of this post is an excerpt from our soon-to-be released white paper entitled “Strategy Execution Improvement Requires Institutional Change.”
Before getting to it, we would like to add an editorial note to say the title perhaps should be expanded to include, “And it requires individual change as well.”
During a recent demonstration of Plan Canvas, an entrepreneur commented that seeing a list of past due items in a dashboard and receiving an email indicating the item is coming due or is past due would “discourage the user” to the point of inactivity.
If that is really true, perhaps it is no wonder so many businesses and strategies fail.
The ironic thing about it is that the software isn’t telling you what to do…it’s reminding you of what you, yourself, said you’d do, or that you assigned someone else to do it. If you don’t need subtle reminders, you probably don’t need Plan Canvas (or any other tool).
But if you can’t keep it all straight in your head, or through round table discussions over coffee and diet soda, you just might benefit from Plan Canvas.
White paper excerpt
A vast majority of strategic initiatives fail. The obvious reason to be concerned with this is the resulting, tremendous, amount of waste – wasted time, money, effort, energy, and emotion.
The less obvious reason is the immeasurable lost opportunity, taking the form of missed potential to gain momentum, survive and thrive, versus the real potential for loss of market share and extinction of the business.
Saying that we need to do a better job of implementing successful strategies is comparable to saying we need to do a better job at diet and exercise. We know it is good for us, but find doing it difficult and unappealing.
For many of us, it is only after years of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise have negatively impacted our lives that we decide to make a change. At that point, “why” becomes, literally, painfully obvious. Unfortunately, it is often too late to reverse the impacts that could have been avoided in the first place.
The same is true of business and enterprise strategy. An institutional change is in order. Key to that is understanding and acknowledging why it is important, then acting on it before the negative impacts occur.
There are numerous reasons to focus on improving strategic outcomes, but all are a matter of momentum, surviving, and thriving.
Included herein are three critical business success factors, each representing an example of why improved strategy execution is essential:
- Cost Optimization
- Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Business Transformation
- Employee and Customer Engagement
Check your attitudes
The white paper goes on to explain these 3 examples in more detail, why they are each important, and how building them in to your culture or strategy is vital, before further discussing how to improve strategy outcomes.
But whatever you do, consider this – there are 2 ways to look at it when viewing a list of things you have yet to accomplish:
- Be proud of what you’ve done so far and use that pride as motivation to keep tackling the list.
- Be discouraged by the list itself, fold tent and retreat.
One of these two attitudes will get you far. The other, not so much.