Why We Fail at Strategy
and nine leadership actions to succeed.
Today’s leaders need both the ability to
craft the right strategy and the
skills to implement it.
There is, however, a precarious skills gap
among leaders. They have been taught how
to craft strategy but not how to implement it
and this a major contributor to why nine
out 10 implementations fail
around the world, see Bridges
research at Implementation Surveys
1. Strategy is about making
the right choices –
implementation is about
taking the right actions.
After crafting the strategy too many leaders delegate the
implementation responsibility. They assume that once
the strategy is formed the implementation is a fate
Leaders must stay committed
throughout the whole
implementation journey by
constantly discussing, guiding
and overseeing it.
2. Implementation of
strategy never goes
according to plan.
Whatever was designed in the boardroom is never what
happens once the implementation starts.
Leaders must communicate
changes and explain why they
3. Strategy is only as good
as its implementation.
People are always busy. But the difference between
success and failure comes when they take the right
Leaders must tell their staff
members what to do, make sure
they are motivated to do it and
that are doing it.
4. Leaders craft strategy
but they do not implement
They are not the ones taking he daily actions such as
answering the phones, driving the trucks or serving the
Leaders must oversee and guide
staff members through the
5. Without people
implementation will fail.
After the launch of the strategy employees must
embrace its execution. Many leaders forget that their
staff members are seeing and hearing the new strategy
for the first time.
Leaders must explain why the
organization must change and
then provide continued support
and develop the supporting
6. Without the right
measures in place to guide
the implementation, it will
At the start of the implementation it is important to
identify the indicators for measuring success.
Leaders must change the
measures to track the new
strategy and remember to tack
the “Vital Few” not the “trivial
7. Culture drives the way
Two companies can have the same strategy but how
they execute it will always be different.
Leaders must prioritize to create
a culture that supports and
encourages the implementation.
8. Implementation is only
sustained when you reward
and recognize individuals
for taking the right actions.
Implementation will fail without reinforcement of the right
Leaders must identify what
motives their staff members and
develop positive reinforcement
while remembering money is the
most expensive motivator.
9. You only know if a
strategy is good or bad by
implementing it and
constantly reviewing the
Too many implementations are only reviewed once or
twice a year. The odds of successfully executing a
strategy that isn’t reviewed frequently are slim to none.
Leaders must ask, “What have
you done this week to implement
the strategy?” and frequently
All the best on your implementation journey.
If you enjoyed this please share it on;
And why not check out the one minute video
on why you only have 63 seconds in your day
to implement your strategy at Life Is Too