Over the past 30 years, I’ve worked on strategy and strategy execution with the senior management of Fortune 1000 companies, mid-market companies, and Inc 5000 companies. In all that time, and across all industries and size of companies, these eight obstacles to achieving strategic goals stand out as the ones I most often work with senior management to overcome. (Not in any particular order.)
- Lack of Accountability. You need people who know the ongoing results expected of them and who can be relied on to get those results all the time. It is a cultural problem and an individual person problem to begin with. If it continues, it is a management problem.
- Employees who don’t act like owners. You need people who are focused on results; common values, and who reflect both in their everyday behaviors. I can understand why a particular employee may not want to do that, but I do not understand leaders who allow it to continue. Some of the solution is on leaders to provide the right environment, treat people respectfully, and weed out those who don’t fully contribute. The rest of the solution is on individuals and the volition to be involved.
- The business strategy is unclear (or non-existent.) Having an action plan is not the same as having a strategy. High performers need to know where you’re taking the company, not just what actions and results are expected of them everyday.
- The organization structure gets in the way. In general, your organization should be designed around the few processes that drive the most value, not functions or fiefdoms. The worst is when an organization structure decision, or “work-around” is made to accommodate a weak player.
- Key competencies are weak or missing. Skills, capabilities, and talent drives value. That includes leadership. You cannot overcome deficiencies in this area by ignoring them.
- Plans and metrics are not aligned with the strategy. You need an organization that is sharply-focused on driving the strategic objectives in a collaborative and aligned way. There is no such thing as independent functions; if you have them, get rid of them.
- A sub-optimal mindset. A success mindset, especially at the top, is imperative. Every one of your key players, in management and throughout the organization, needs to have a confident, optimistic, determined mindset. Anything else is an energy-sapper and time-waster.
How many of these are you experiencing?
Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family. .
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.