Why do 9/10 Strategic Plans Fail? Why do 9/10 Strategic Plans Fail
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Why do 9/10 Strategic Plans Fail

How to identify your firm’s greatest potential for improvement

Why do 9/10 Strategic Plans Fail? Is your business struggling to deliver on its objectives, despite having developed what appears to be a winning strategy?

Most businesses, when beginning their strategic planning process, are working off market research, and financial reports to determine their current position. With any strategic planning process, the 3 critical questions any business will be asking are:

  1. Where is our business at? (Situation Analysis)
  2. Where do we want to take this business? (Objectives)
  3. How do we get from A to B? (Strategic and Functional Plans)

When asking the first question, the usual suspects such as competition, financial results and economic conditions are discussed in detail. However, questions around culture and climate often excluded. Without clarity on the current culture and climate of your business, you could potentially miss core issues that need to be addressed or make assumptions regarding the capacity for and commitment to delivering on your strategy.

Performance audits are surveys that enable your organization to identify the greatest potential for improvement.

Identifying opportunities to optimise performance allows an organisation to more effectively achieve its strategic goals. Performance optimisation can be achieved by positively addressing any or all of the following organisational dimensions:

  • The quality and coherence of organisational strategy
  • Alignment with and commitment to organisational strategy
  • The quality, competence and perception of leadership and management in the organisation
  • The degree to which the culture of the organisation creates a climate for optimal performance
  • The quality of relationships between people and structures within the organisation

There are various tools available for determining which of these dimensions provides the best opportunity for optimizing performance. Broadly these fall into the categories of online survey tools or face to face interviews with key people either individually or in groups. It goes without saying that for an intervention to be successful in identifying opportunities for optimising performance it must be carefully targeted.

All surveys can be undertaken quickly in three steps:

STEP 1: Online or manual survey and collection of information.

Design a survey questionnaire in consultation with your organisational leadership and publish the survey so that all the relevant people in the organisation can complete the survey.

STEP 2: Validating and deepening the results of step 1:

In this step the results of the online survey should be validated and expanded on in face to face meetings with the relevant people.

These meetings need to happen soon after the completion of the survey and the availability of the results. The results should first be discussed with senior leadership and then with the rest of the leadership team in a configuration that makes sense for your business.

STEP 3: Reporting and Recommendations:

The third step should immediately follow the second, where a report with recommendations is presented to the leadership of the organisation. On the basis of this report the leadership will be able to decide whether to accept and implement any or all of the recommendations.

It’s often the seemingly intangible and qualitative elements that have the highest impact on performance in the workplace. It’s important that the surveys used are designed to measure these subtleties.

84% of those interviewed in PWC’s Culture and Change Management Survey believe culture is critical to success and 60% believe culture is more important than strategy or operating model. Ensure that you have an in-depth understanding of what’s driving the people in your business and you will dramatically improve your business performance.

How StratAlign can help

So, Why do 9/10 Strategic Plans Fail? Let’s work together to ensure that you are in that elusive 10%. An insight into its culture and climate will enable your organization to identify its greatest potential for improvement. StratAlign has 13 years experience in boosting organizational performance through aligning culture and business strategy.

Contact us on 011 268 5597 or info@stratalign.co.za or visit our website for more information on Culture Transformation

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