Avoid the Top 5 Blind Spots that Could Derail Your Strategy

For most leaders, change is on the horizon in 2017. According to ExecOnline’s recent Trump and Leadership survey, 78% of business leaders across top companies expect to make at least one big strategy change as a result of the 2016 US Presidential election. Yet, most strategies get derailed before they have a chance to achieve their objective.

Unfortunately, leaders often suffer from blind spots when it comes to identifying the execution challenges that are most likely to derail strategy. Indeed, almost half of executives tell us that senior leaders at their firms are not aware of critical execution challenges.

We’ve found through our work with more than 5,000 leaders that a small handful of common execution challenges account for 70% of the barriers preventing leaders from achieving their strategic goals.  So what are those barriers, and how can leaders address them?

Top 5 Strategy “Blind Spots”

ExecOnline has privileged insight into strategy execution challenges confronting executives at the world’s leading organizations. As part of our development programs, leaders work on real projects within their span of control.  As they work on their projects, we ask leaders to identify critical execution barriers, providing a unique window into the challenges that undermine performance across organizations.

Through our analysis of thousands of those projects, we found that 5 blind spots in senior leaders accounted for 70% of their execution challenges:

  • Misaligned structure or roles: Organizational structure, or role definition, gets in the way of effective strategy execution.
  • Complexity and organizational drag: Process complexity, unclear resourcing, or other organizational barriers prevent effective execution.
  • Trapped information: Siloed information prevents effective communication, impacting risk-sensing and decision-making effectiveness.
  • Outdated strategy assumptions: Key assumptions underpinning strategy are no longer valid.
  • Line of sight: Employees don’t fully understand the organization’s strategy or how their work contributes to it.

In our next post, we’ll talk about what you can do to address the top blind spot: Misaligned Organizational Structure.

To learn more about deploying our Blind Spots Diagnostic on your team to surface critical execution challenges, email us at enterpriseproduct@execonline.com.


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