The difference between setting the strategy and implementing it

Feedback received from CEOs on implementing strategy:

  1. Only 10% believed they will achieve more than two-thirds of their planned strategy.
  2. 36% believed they will achieve more than half but less than two-thirds.
  3. 54% believed they will achieve more than one-third but less than a half.
  4. 2% believed they will achieve 100% of their planned strategy.

strategy execution gap

The reason for these disconcerting numbers is not because the strategic thinking, strategy mapping, gap analysis, or project management are flawed but because the execution and people engagement was poor or at best, inadequate. A failure to see and appreciate the interdependence or interaction among key factors — strategy, structure, incentives, controls, coordination, culture, change, etc. — is a costly mistake that detracts from strategy execution success. The complexity of the implementation process also results in managers ignoring the execution process.