The challenge of strategy execution is all too familiar: exhaustively studied by companies, consultants, and experts alike, strategy resets prove to be frustratingly elusive in their implementation. One of the most frequently cited statistics is from The Balanced Scorecard, whose authors, David Norton and Robert Kaplan, conclude that 90% of organizations fall short in the effort. Other studies come up with a wide range of failure rates, but they average out to about 50%.
So, what is the problem?
On the face of it, it’s not always clear why execution is so difficult. For some hard-driving, action-biased leaders, the task still seems simple, despite those pesky failure rates. Decide to do something, they say, then do it.
But here’s how—and why—so many resets go off the rails.