In 1999 a Fortune magazine cover story, “Corporate Strategists under fire”, (Fortune 27 December 1982, p38), included the statement “In the majority of cases, we estimate 70%, the real problem isn’t bad strategy, but bad execution.”
This statement, along with many similar ones have graced the opening slide of many a consultant’s sales pitch and the opening lines of many books on strategy ever since.
Some 14 years later, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and PMI, Why good strategies fail, Lessons for the C-Suite which was based on global survey data of 587 senior executives delivered some interesting results;
61% of respondents acknowledge that their firms often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and its day-to-day implementation.
In the last three years an average of just 56% of strategic initiatives have been successful.
The number-one reason for the success of strategic initiatives at their organisation is leadership buy-in and support. However, 28% of respondents admited that individual projects to implement strategy do not typically obtain the necessary senior-level sponsorship.