Recent Survey Pinpoints New Challenges for Organizations in Executing Strategy

Recent Survey Pinpoints New Challenges for Organizations in Executing Strategy

Guest post by Todd Garretson, CEO and Chief Strategist, CircleMakers

Don’t look now. It’s May 9th – already. Yes, I know. It’s that T I M E thing again, isn’t it?

If you’re like most organizations, you’re probably in the throes of doing everything imaginable to deliver on the promises you made in your strategy at the outset of the year.

As you reflect on the first few months of the year, are you happy with the current progress? While not exactly at the halfway point (depending on your fiscal calendar), how do you rate your performance thus far? Are you encouraged? Or, perhaps frustrated?

Assess Your Execution

Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on this May, this is the perfect time to step back from the day-to-day and take a hard look at some key factors that – if not addressed in your organization – will ultimately impede your ability to execute brilliantly now and in the future.

A few months ago, we surveyed a large group of executives and leaders on the common roadblocks they face in enabling strategy execution through their organizations. (I would encourage you to experience the short survey right here.)

Be forthright and honest with your answers – gaining some awareness into the areas where you may be struggling is the first step to making the right change.

Based on how you rate each question (on a scale of 1 – 10) and the summation of all 10, the following key provides some insight into your overall ability to ‘execute’ as an organization::

  • 90+ = This organization should be performing at a high-level, where growth and strong results are the norm.
  • 80 – 90 = Although this is a fairly good score, there is still room for improvement.
  • 70 – 80 = An average score means that lackluster performance and unsatisfactory results are likely.
  • <70 = Unhealthy symptoms exist within the organization, and greatly inhibit performance.

Organizations are Struggling with Strategy Execution

Here are some conclusions from the first groups’ results:

Conclusion 1: The average score for the total sampling of organizations fell below the 70 mark, an indication that significant improvement is needed in several areas.
Conclusion 2: More than half the respondents scored a ‘5’ or lower on 6 of the 10 questions. Those questions are:

  • We have a strategic plan with clearly defined goals, tactics and accountability.
  • We conduct organization-wide talent reviews a minimum of once a year to evaluate if we have the right talent in critical roles.
  • We have defined the precise activities and behaviors that are required to meet objectives defined in our strategic plan.
  • Each person in the organization knows the specific activities and behaviors to which they are accountable.
  • We have a performance development system in place that aligns coaching, training and recognition to the right activities and behaviors.
  • We have a process in place to regularly review, calibrate and refine certain activities to drive results.

All of what’s highlighted above centers on a broader challenge that executives are experiencing when it comes to strategy– more accurately defined as the ‘operationalizing’ of strategy. This is the process of embedding the requirements of your strategy into the day-to-day life and operating rhythm of your organization. The organizations that can successfully operationalize strategy execution will consistently score in the 90+ range.

So, let me ask you – how do your scores compare? If you haven’t, here’s the link for the survey one more time. Be brutally honest.

Demystify Brilliant Strategy Execution

Ready for the really exciting part? There’s good news and better news – which do you want first?

Even if your score falls in the ‘improvement-needed’ range, the good news is that you’re not alone. But, the even better news is that we’ve custom-designed an hour-long webinar to help you begin to address these critical issues once and for all – and you’re invited.

Webinar: Demystifying Brilliant Execution: A System to Operationalize Strategy


Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The 5 major building blocks that define high performing organizations and how to begin bringing them to life in your organization;
  • A repeatable system that will align and mobilize teams and individuals to execute brilliantly;;
  • The 6 must-have meetings for all organizations – who should attend, when are they held, and what is the desired outcome of each;
  • How to recognize the tell-tale signs that your organization has successfully operationalized their strategy and how to sustain it!

It’s Not Too Late to Execute

Let me leave you with a quick and gentle nudge…. identifies the word origin of the executive to come from the middle 15th century, meaning performed or carried out – to execute. Thus, quite simply, the role or responsibility of the executive or executive team is to execute – to ensure that it gets done.

Sound like you?

If so, you’re in the right place at the right time.

Before T I M E runs out.

Guest post by Todd Garretson, CEO and Chief Strategist, CircleMakers

Like this post? You’ll love our webinars with Todd! Sign up for our latest webinar with him.




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