chess piecesIn recent surveys it was noted that only 5% of organizational workforces understand strategy.

Alarming? Perhaps. It is certainly worthy of further discussion. We might think that if it’s the 5% at the top of the organization then maybe it’s OK. However, senior leaders who understand strategy execution know better.


If you are serious about rallying the organization around strategy there are a few pitfalls to avoid. Organizations that ‘get it’ identified 5 potential pitfalls that can easily derail strategy goals and objectives.

  1. Poor communication of strategic initiatives and goals, through the entire organization. The senior team are often fully aware of the strategy and what needs to get done, but the rest of the organization may get bits and pieces as and when deemed necessary. We often see poor awareness of the bigger picture at front line or the more junior roles in company. This can create disconnect to the big picture for employees at various levels in the company.
  2. Lack of alignment of strategy across the organization. Each team carves out their area of responsibility and deliverables with little concern for what others are doing. They begin, in earnest, to embrace what needs to get done to drive results. Come Q4 people scramble to get things done before year-end. Suddenly the whole organization is thrown into ‘silo’ mentality and behaviors.
  3. Poor or no alignment of performance expectations to strategy. Few are the organizations who do not have performance review systems and processes. Good organizations know that these are important processes to create the accountability to what’s important and what will get measured for the fiscal year. Too often KPI’s, performance standards and bonus programs don’t reflect the priorities for the current or future years.
  4. Not holding people accountable. If we’ve not focused people on the ‘new’ business priorities and connected them through the proper organizational processes (I.E. salary reviews and bonus programs) then people will continue to do what they’ve always done.
  5. Ineffective review of progress on a frequent basis. We know that many senior leaders do a reasonable job communicating strategic goals and plans as the fiscal year launches. It’s part of the ‘kick off’ to the new-year. Then we hunker down, nose to the grid stone and make it happen! We surface 11 months later, dust off the strategic plan and attempt to reconcile our efforts and activities with the plan. Then try to garner support and rally people behind this plan that people have long forgotten.

Aligning people and process to deliver the business plan results is the best way to avoid these common pitfalls. Stay tuned for easy solutions to help you align people and process for effective strategy execution in one of our next blogs.


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