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The majority of managers in all Businesses believe that their Business lacks a coherent strategy, but they struggle to set a clear and differentiating strategy and they struggle to ensure that their day-to-day activities are in line with their strategy.  Also they struggle to allocate resources in a way that supports the strategy.

According to a Booz & Company survey:

  • 52% of executives don’t feel their Businesses strategy will lead to success.
  • 49% say their Business has no list of strategic priorities at all.
  • 67% admit that their Businesses capabilities don’t fully support their strategy.
  • 43% say their strategy does not fundamentally differentiate the Business in the market.
  • 53% say that the way they create value, is not well understood by employees or customers.
  • 64% say that their biggest frustration is “having too many conflicting priorities.”
  • 57% say that their Business creates strategy by either, “pursuing a broad portfolio of strategic options and spreading the risks” or by “choosing an attractive market and figuring out how to be successful in it.”
  • Only 43% say their strategy starts from the inside – looking at what they’re great at and finding markets that capitalize on those capabilities.
  • Most worrying, only one in five managers (21%) are fully confident they have a right to win!

Businesses with more “coherence” – where the strategy, their capabilities and product offerings are in sync – perform better financially.

Businesses who have very few (1 to 3) strategic priorities have higher profits and revenue growth – compared to those firms having a longer list of strategic priorities (or worse, no clear strategic priorities at all).

There is clearly a problem with the way most Businesses set strategy.  They struggle to choose their key strategic priorities – and when they do, they lack the ability to focus on the execution of these priorities.

The root of the problem is that too many Businesses grab hastily for what seems like the next answer to growth, and  they don’t use a disciplined methodology to decide the critical few strategic priorities that will lead to sustainable success.

These businesses end up stretched too thin, trying to do a little bit of everything and doing nothing well.

Winning Businesses choose a well-articulated path to success:

These Businesses choose what they will be excellent at – rather than just trying to sell what they can make and they get very clear on what differentiates them from competitors, and how they will create value for their customers.

Focussing on their investment means that they are building the capabilities that matter.

They understand the strategy that will help them gain more ‘wallet share’ not ‘market share,’ and they understand that culture plays a significant part in ensuring the right Business strategy flows out to everyone in the Business.

If you looked at your Business strategy now, what would you think?

Does it uphold what you want in your business?   

If not what are you going to do about it?