Strategy execution research – common problems identified

Nowadays companies struggle to improve their strategy execution. How do we know what are the main problems in this field? Let’s take a look at some sources: large-scale surveys with corporate executives and managers.

EIU Research 2014
The greatest challenges for companies accorging to EIU

First The Economist Intelligence Unit study from 2004. The EIU conducts periodic research on the subject. In 2004 they surveyed 276 executives in the US and Canada. Only 43% rated their companies as successful at executing strategic initiatives. The most important issue to improve: communication from senior management.

Booz Hamilton HBR 2008
What Matters Most to Strategy Execution – HBR 2008

In „Secrets to successful strategy execution” published by HBR in 2008 consultants from Booz & Company share results from their 5 years long research (1000 organizations). Three out of five companies when asked if “Important strategic and operational decisions are quickly translated into action” the answer was no. Again similar results:  information and decision rights are crucial to successful execution.

Hrebeniak 2006 research
Five obstacles to strategy execution – Hrebeniak 2006

Wharton–Gartner Survey described by Professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak in „Obstacles to Effective Strategy Implementation” paper (2006). He wrote: „I undertook an empirical study of implementation issues in which data were collected from 443 managers involved in strategy execution”. Key obstacles: poor change management, vague strategy and poor information sharing.