Why is Strategy Execution so Hard?

Did you know that the estimated global spend on strategy consulting this year, 2016, is over $30 billion? And with studies from McKinsey to Harvard suggesting that 70-90% of strategies fail to deliver their intended results, then business is wasting something like $25 billion a year. That’s a whole lot of waste. So what’s going wrong?

Peter Drucker is thought to have coined the phrase ’culture eats strategy for breakfast’, although the exact citation is elusive.  The culture of the organisation is certainly one reason why it can be so challenging to execute a strategy.   Working recently with an overly-large executive committee of 14 people, we were debating how to move the business from product-push to customer-focus.  One of the most successful executives on the executive, measured by turnover, was famous for his ability to win business. 

Once won, however, he never visited a customer again, expecting company...

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