Close The Strategy Execution Gap | PESTEL Analysis

I’m sure it’s not news to you, but the whole strategic planning process is daunting to many organizations because there are so many factors, both internal and external, that can affect results. In my role as a Professional Services Consultant, I help customers navigate through the strategic planning process and point them in the direction of two important tools that help close the strategy execution gap.

The first item is called the Capabilities Gap. This tool allows strategy professionals to view and aggregate all of their companies’ internal strengths and weaknesses in an easy-to-understand scatter plot. I ask my customers to rank how they think their companies are performing against the 30 capabilities of high-performing organizations, in both their level of importance and development. The forced ranking lets them clearly understand, “What’s most important?” and “What do we do well as an organization?” which in turn allows them to quickly spot low-hanging fruit as well as higher priority capabilities. This view makes it easy to see and clearly understand the items that need to be leveraged and fixed.

capabilities gap

The second item is called the PESTEL Analysis which is a quick way to diagnose what factors are impacting your organization from an external standpoint. PESTEL is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal / Regulatory. There are a total of six factors in each bucket and you can see, in aggregate, which items have the most impact. The great part about the PESTEL is you can see what items you need to plan for and the items that simply have no impact. In my experience, knowing the items that don’t belong in your plan is one of the hardest aspects of the whole process.

strategy execution gap
One significant way to close the strategy execution gap is to perform a PESTEL analysis

I encourage you to complete these exercises within your organizations. The results you receive will allow you to walk into a strategic planning meeting completely prepared to guide the discussion. Since every person in your organization is encouraged to fill out both tools, the data you receive represents all internal voices. The collaborative nature of these exercises allows for better buy-in and pull-through of your plan. It goes without saying that every planning cycle comes with limited resources and it is always great to know you’re placing your time, talent, and treasure on the right items.

AchieveIt’s Execution Insight Platform solves common execution challenges by fostering accountability, driving alignment, providing visibility, and facilitating collaboration. If you’re planning major strategic change initiatives for this year, sign up for a demo today.


Meet the Author  Joseph Krause

Joe has helped organizations execute thousands of strategic, operational, and project plans in his 10+ years at AchieveIt. Joe is passionate about helping teams drive successful business outcomes with a focus on practical, easy to use advice. Joe graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and obtained a Masters of Science in Healthcare Communication from Boston University. Joe recently completed his studies at Rutgers University where he obtained a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in finance.

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