As 2013 winds down, so does global executives’ confidence in their companies’ strategies.
In a Booz & Company survey of executives from around the world (a quarter of them C-suite level), 60% were not able to say affirmatively that their companies’ strategy would lead to success, as of Q4 2013.
Three years ago, “only” 52% expressed this lack of confidence in their company strategy. The survey, overall, involves 3,855 participants since 2010.
Whether the dip in executives’ faith in their strategy is related to the external environment, e.g., the global economy, is unclear. What is clear, based on the ongoing survey, is that business leaders have a range of frustrations, most relating to the clarity and focus of their strategy. In fact, most leaders – 66% – said “having too many priorities” is a major point of frustration for their organisations’ managers.
The survey also reveals that more than half of executives (51%) said that communicating the company’s strategy and getting buy-in for it is a significant challenge at their company.
Fifty-five percent said ensuring day-to-day decisions are in line with the strategy is a significant challenge, while 56% said allocating resources in a way that really supports the strategy represents a big challenge. Meanwhile, 54% said quickly translating strategic and operational decisions into action is a challenge.
“Many companies struggle with developing and executing a winning strategy. The problem is that they’re focusing too much on chasing market opportunities, rather than forging strategy around a small set of capabilities that really differentiate the company,” says Cesare Mainardi, Chief Executive Officer at Booz & Company.
“Our survey bears this out: Executives who do say their company’s core capabilities support their strategy are almost four times as likely to say revenue growth is above average than those whose capabilities are misaligned,” adds Paul Leinwand, partner at Booz & Company.