There is a laxness in how companies align what really goes on in the organization with their stated objectives, according to a study by Strategy&.
The survey of more than 500 executives from around the world found that only 38% of executives said the initiatives and major projects that they themselves are working on are aligned with the company’s overall strategy.
When asked how well their companies’ strategic objectives drive how management allocates its time, only 18% of executives said “very well.” In fact, at nearly a third of companies (29%), executives believe that the ways management spends its time has little to do with the companies’ strategies.
Only a quarter (24%) of executives said their companies’ strategy is solidly converted into specific operational objectives, initiatives and measures.
The study also found that nearly two-thirds (66%) of executives said there are significant businesses, products and services in their companies’ portfolios that are misaligned with the company strategy.
Sixty-six percent of executives say low-priority initiatives or areas receive more than their fair share of funding.
Similarly, only a quarter of executives (24%) say the “power base” of their company is well aligned with where growth is occurring.
Vinay Couto, Senior Partner at Strategy& and Strategy& senior partner John Plansky, co-authors of the Fit for Growth Index study, say executives should consider the following steps to make their efforts more effective:
- Together with the other leaders in your company, identify the few critical capabilities that are key for your organization to win with your strategy.
- Be clear about your role in the realization of your company’s strategy – how do you and your team enable the company to be great at the things that matter most.
- Evaluate whether each project you’re about to invest in as to whether it is in line with the company’s strategy – only commit resources and funds to those that fuel your company’s distinctive strengths.
- Be explicit about what is not important, in what areas it is good enough to be “good enough.”
- Learn to say ‘no’ – for every additional task you take on, be clear about what you stop doing because it adds less to the realization of the company’s strategy.