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Failure to Execute – Leadership’s Inability to Achieve Strategic Priorities


A recent blog I read “Why is Executing Strategy So Hard?” indicated that of 70-90% of business strategies fail. 

Why do so many businesses strategies fail? The reasons are many, yet you will be surprised to discover that the greatest majority of these are internal reasons and not external. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since that’s exactly what Jim Collins noted in his book How the Mighty Fall and I summed up in my blog Greatness Is A Conscious Choice – Switch
The article cited a specific survey done recently in Minneapolis area which were very similar to another study done by the University of Michigan in 2005, “Leaders Talk about Executing Strategy.” 
Here are some of the more startling findings. 
69% of leaders are NOT confident in their organization’s ability to execute strategy.
Among the reasons they lack confidence included:
  • Unclear accountability for execution 52%
  • Internal resistance to change 48%
  • Buy-in Agreement on critical execution steps or actions 40%
  • Employee lack of ownership 38%
  • Lack of a model to guide strategy execution 27%
 Not surprisingly then, the barriers to effectively executing strategy included the following internal issues:
Past Habits 66%
Company Culture 64%
Senior Management 52%
CEO President 50%
Middle Management 44%
Way We Work Together 34%
Employees 30%
In the present economic situation it is more important than ever to not only be able to determine a strategy but then to follow through on it.
Simply put the reason companies fail to execute is a lack of discipline – Growth Demands Strategic Discipline. 
Positioning Systems and Gazelles Three Disciplines: Priorities, Metrics, and Meeting Rhythms establish routines that breakthrough the execution barriers that companies face.
Are you the chief problem solver in your business? We discuss exactly why that’s preventing you from having the freedom you want and how it inhibits the exact characteristics you want to develop in your team next blog.


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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.