A recent survey of more than 400 global CEOs found that executional excellence was the number one challenge facing corporate leaders in Europe, Asia and the United States. This is not surprising as todays Executive Boards are leading their organisations in the most volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) economic climate ever and shareholders are becoming less tolerant with greater short-term performance expectations. This requires faster and more effective execution of strategy, or in strategists speak, more effective allocation of a company’s financial and human capital.
If it were only so simple. Why do we often hear about a large corporation’s strategy failing and shortly afterwards the announcement of a change in leadership? Rarely because the CEO set a bad strategy. All too often the strategy was good, even great, but it failed in its implementation. A study found that 75% of large organisations struggle to implement their strategies. The strategies are well thought out, often with the support of reputable strategy consultancies and large capital investments made in systems, restructuring, acquisitions and technology. The real sticking point in bridging the gap between strategy and results is in effectively engaging leaders, managers and employees in the change, i.e. behavioural change, so that they take actions aligned to the strategic priorities of the company.
Successful leaders are increasingly looking towards experiential learning using bespoke business simulations to engage and motivate their people in strategy implementation. A competitive simulation modelled on your own business and external environment provides the perfect risk free setting for leaders and managers to convince themselves that the new strategic priorities are the best way forward and that change will bring opportunity and benefit to all. It also reinforces the collaborative culture that most companies aspire to, and clearly demonstrates how a silo mentality between business units or even functions is often a self-destructive path. The experiential, simulated business environment captures people’s hearts and minds, and naturally aligns them to the company’s strategy. This level of behavioural change and buy-in cannot be achieved by any amount of verbal communication, slideshows, roundtables or town hall meetings – you have to personally and collectively practice and discover best practices.
A survey, conducted in March 2013, of 587 senior global executives, of which 52% of respondents were C-level executives and 48% were from senior management, concluded that the majority of companies either lack the skills or fail to deploy the personnel needed for strategy implementation. A mere 11% of respondents said that developing the necessary business and leadership skills for strategy implementation was a high priority in their firm.
This survey illustrates why 75% of large organisations struggle to implement their strategies.
ProfitAbility’s Strategic Alignment & Execution Practice is totally focussed the rapid and effective implementation of strategic plans.