Why do we focus on execution?

“As many as 70-90% of business strategies fail,” says Robert Kaplan, Harvard professor and co-author of several books on the Balanced Scorecard and strategy execution. “Though executives may formulate an excellent strategy, it easily fades from memory as the organization tackles day-to-day operations issues” – doing what Kaplan calls “fighting fires.” I think we can relate: sometimes we all must react to issues within the business rather than managing the business itself.

What if you did nothing?

What does it cost your company when you can’t execute as effectively as possible or hold people accountable for results?

  • What would it have meant to the bottom line last year if the organization had reached all of its goals?
  • What did it cost to try to satisfy that one customer who demanded work or services that weren’t in your wheelhouse?
  • What did quality errors cost in lost customers or extra wages?
  • What was the cost of the last hiring mistake due to mis-communicated expectations or values?
  • How much time do you spend fighting fires?
  • How much time is wasted in trying to implement changes that are never incorporated?
  • How much time is spent by sales reps chasing down marginally-profitable work?

Senior executives have cited these figures

A Digneer study asked leaders their opinion on the consequences of poor strategy execution. The top responses included: 

  • Decreased employee commitment, 67%
  • Lost Market Opportunities, 53%
  • Decreased Revenue, 53%
  • Increased Costs, 39%
  • Increased Cycle Times, 28%
  • Decreased Customer Loyalty, 28%
  • Lost Market Share, 28%

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