The Important Versus the Urgent: 4 Reasons You’re Experiencing Poor Strategic Execution


Your strategic plan forms a vital part of any company’s success. And yet, simply having a solid plan is not enough.

Plenty of companies have a clever strategic plan, but poor strategic execution will ensure they don’t get the results they’re after. In this article, we look at four reasons business strategic execution fails, and how your company can avoid it.


Too often, strategic execution falls apart because of a simple reason – an inability to nail down a timeline for putting the plan into action. Without a concrete set of steps to take the company from point A to point B and beyond, the strategic plan sits on the shelf, unwanted and unimplemented.

In order to create a plan that’s actionable, the strategy needs to be broken down into manageable chunks. What needs to be achieved over the next three months? What goals does each department need to meet in order to bring the plan to fruition?

Successful time management of strategic execution comes down to effective communication. New objectives or initiatives can be outlined in detail during the strategic process, but if they aren’t effectively communicated throughout the organisation, then they will remain words on the page.

Ensure your strategy team effectively communicates the new strategic objectives throughout the whole organisation, and that these objectives are part of the company’s overall goals and values. Every employee – from the top down – needs to take the time to make strategy a priority. Full commitment is the only level of commitment that will make the strategy a success.


When a strategic plan is conceived, it’s agreed upon by the business leaders. Those managers are then supposed to take the learnings and goals back to their department and inspire their team to drive for results to achieve their part in the company’s growth.

However, what can sometimes happen is that strategic objectives and goals never leave the manager’s desk. Everyone else in the department operates on business-as-usual, while the leader frets and scrambles to meet strategic objectives on his/her own.

Much of this can come from leaders assuming their role is to take sole responsibility for strategic execution. The truth is, this is a whole business strategy, one that needs to be administered from the top-down. Every person needs to be accountable and aware, and that means managers and leaders need to champion the strategy to the team and then empower them to make it happen. You can’t grow your business, but your people can.


A strategic plan can start with a hiss and a bang – everyone is on board, everyone is enthusiastic. But many leaders make the mistake of assuming things will run themselves after they've begun. This is simply not true.

If the leaders and managers don’t drive execution and keep things ticking over, then strategic directives quickly fall by the wayside as business goes on as usual. If management becomes passive about implementation, it will fail. Your leaders need to bring their A-game and keep that momentum going throughout the year.


Poor communication about strategic vision can take many forms – usually, it involves the strategic plan being hidden under a rock, invisible to all but the strategic team who conceived it. Or, the strategy team aren’t giving out enough information for staff and stakeholders to accurately conceive of the plan or their place in it.

An overall communications plan that focuses around generating momentum will help your team disseminate information. Keeping momentum is vital to prevent a plan fizzling out before execution. And the leadership team needs to take the lead in creating that momentum by delivering through demonstration. Don’t make your strategy message “do what I say, not what I do.” Live your values and your strategy.

Don’t let your business’ strategic execution die out before it even gets going. If you’d like more information on how to fine-tune your strategic planning process, download our free guide, The Four Cornerstones of Strategic Execution.

The Four Cornerstones of Strategic Execution

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