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When Strategies Crash

Virtuous Leadership

Table of Contents

Strategies are the cornerstone of every plan and the road to measure the outcomes of any project. But why have so many strategy implementations failed for decades?

The execution stage is where most solutions fail. The issue with implementing strategies is that they all too frequently fail to bring about change after seemingly workable plans have been devised. For managers and executives worldwide with responsibility for strategy implementation, the challenge resides in not fully grasping why tactics fail, despite how important it is to every firm. This article outlines recurring reasons for strategy implementation failure based on in-depth insights, aspiring to help Catholic leaders successfully navigate one of the biggest management problems.

silhouette photo of man jumping on body of water during golden hour
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. Proverbs 19:21

Incorporate management

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. Proverbs 19:21

Failure to implement a strategy is frequently caused by a lack of focus on the skill set, leading to deriving from the ultimate deeper purpose. Members of the organization charged with implementation must possess the necessary expertise and knowledge. To make the strategy successful, members of the team will ultimately be required to carry out the implementation activities and to supplement them with values grounded in the cognitive, emotional, and spiritual assets.

Especially crucial is having capable management. The entire organization is impacted by poor top management, which has an impact on strategy implementation efforts. Additionally, employees' commitment to the strategy will be poor if they lack faith in management's vision and decisions.

Having unqualified personnel within a team can negatively impact the dynamics of the workplace environment. Members of high-performing organizations lose motivation when forced to work with underachievers as coworkers. The performance of subordinates is significantly affected by the presence of inept managers. Hence, the degree of motivation and appraisal should be given careful attention. When working for inept managers and feeling that their competence is not valued or even encouraged, competent team members often leave the company.

There are several methods that can be utilized to raise the level of retaining talent, including: coaching and counseling, training, and delivering feedback. Here we draw back from the exceptional servant leadership model our Savior Jesus Christ has initiated as He was perceived as mentor to His parish, driving all missionaries to celebrate their uniqueness and to bring addition to the world.

The creation of a solid and distinct strategic vision by top management is the first step in the formulation and implementation. A vital need for successful organizational redesign is a distinct and well-articulated strategic vision.

Failure to implement a strategy is frequently caused by a lack of focus on the skill set, leading to deriving from the ultimate deeper purpose.

A poor action plan

A strategy must be both sound and practical as well as clear. Members of the organization must comprehend it well and be aware of the (operational) goals of the strategy's implementation, as well as the implications for each of them personally. For the plan to be successful, team members also need to know what to do. Consequently, a comprehensive plan must be developed, which proves the verse:

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

No plan for implementation

After the strategy has been devised, it must be turned into a detailed implementation plan. When managers are unable to translate a strategy into operational reality, even the best strategy is useless. The methods, actions, and operational goals necessary to accomplish the strategy's objectives are laid forth in the strategy implementation plan. The strategic objectives must be converted into quantifiable operational sub-objectives and connected to departmental and individual goals.

aerial view photography of helicopter cockpit and cityscape by water
The sheer idea of change puts existing beliefs at stake and may trigger resistance based on the game of power and politics.

Inadequate control and planning

Lack of monitoring and control is a major factor. There is frequently a lack of an efficient planning and control system. It is impossible to gauge how well a strategy is being implemented without timely and accurate management information. It is crucial to evaluate the implementation's impact and alter the strategy or its application if it yields unfavorable or unsatisfactory results. The strategic goals that were converted into operational goals and performance indicators throughout the implementation of the strategy must be monitored to see whether the objectives are being met.

Ignoring political interests

The sheer idea of change puts existing beliefs at stake and may trigger resistance based on the game of power and politics. Change resistance results in sabotage. By including possible opponents in decision-making, taking their concerns seriously, and effectively explaining the new approach and its benefits to them, leaders can get over resistance to change.

A fraudulent culture

Implementing a strategy could be hampered by the current corporate culture. Fear of making mistakes, accountability, participation, and openness to change can all be used to describe an organization's culture. Embracing change calls for a mindful heart that chants:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

In a nutshell, for smooth and long-term strategic gains, a leadership model of thriving rather than surviving is needed to counter the pains. You may start by nurturing a culture of adaptability and resilience while supporting disruption and innovation. Are you up to the challenge?

Eva Oueiss is a passionate Scholar, TEDx Speaker, Journalist, and Public Relations Consultant. She holds an MA in Media Studies (summa cum laude). A storyteller by nature, she nurtures 7+ years of experience in documenting stories aiming at empowering and inspiring the pubic. Mainly interested in education, leadership, communications, and human rights.

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