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The Six Disciplines Blog


Friday, May 30, 2014

Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail

In general, strategic plans can fail for two types of reasons: inappropriate strategy and poor execution.

Inappropriate or ineffective strategies can occur due to:

  • Failure to define objectives correctly
  • Incomplete SWOT analysis with respect to the desired objectives
  • Lack of creativity in identifying possible strategies
  • Strategies incapable of obtaining the desired objective
  • Poor fit between the external environment and organizational resources – infeasibility

More often than not, however, it’s not that the strategic plans fail – it’s theexecution that fails.

Here are some common reasons how or why execution falls short of the strategic plan:

  • Over-estimation of resources and abilities
  • Under-estimation of time, personnel, or financial requirements
  • Failure to coordinate
  • Ineffective attempts to gain the support of others or resistance
  • Failure to follow the plan
  • Loss of senior management focus and continued sponsorship
  • Inability to predict reactions from competitors
  • Over-estimation of resource competence
  • Poor communications
  • Failure to manage change
  • Lack of focus

BOTTOMLINE: Failure to execute (following the plan) is the primary reason why strategic plans fail.

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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.