Some of the Most Common Execution Obstacles



Lost focus

What a revelation you say...yet as I have observed, the execution side of strategy implementation can simply become lost in the day-to-day crush of the business. Urgent matters push hard on our organizations and force attention elsewhere---every day.  This makes working on furthering the strategy implementation a "luxury" of sorts. 


I recognize that this appears a fundamental that could not possibly be overlooked, but it is.  I have personally learned (the hard way) that the communication process is more than announcing the strategy to "all hands" and considering it done.  In fact, alignment to the strategy requires not only an understanding at all levels of the organization, but a continuous reinforcement of the strategy as a priority to all.  Continuous communication of a consistent message on strategy injects it into the DNA of the organization.  It provides a basis for strategic thinking and decision-making that becomes part of a "new normal" operating basis.

Resistance to change

Yes, I know you have heard this one before as well.  Yet, many companies take this element too lightly.  It is quite amazing how resistance can be sugar-coated sufficiently enough to appear as "cooperation"... when in fact the employee is covertly undermining the program or initiative in support of the strategy.  How many times have all of us heard the refrain " Susie was, in fact, just waiting for this strategy to pass so that she could get on with here normal work".  Sad but true.

Lack of Integrated Action Plans

Many companies just simply skip the step of developing clear, concise functional area plans that integrate the new strategy.  This is a responsibility of the functional area head and has to contain the specific action steps necessary for that functional area to support the strategy. 

Strategy Shift

Some companies have allowed the strategy to drift or shift frequently in an attempt to adapt to perceived market conditions or competitive actions.  While this may have merit in some instances, it usually results in an organization that loses focus and an executive team that could lose credibility.  Staying the course requires strong leadership and persistence and the conviction that the strategy is sound and requires time to show evidence of success.