A brief history of strategy acceleration

The history of strategy acceleration and strategy execution offers important insights

Strategy emerge

When it comes to strategy execution, it’s clear that we’ve come a long way and there are several important lessons that can be learned from looking back at history. This blog series is about succeeding with strategy acceleration but before we move on, let’s start with a short historical look at strategy work. 

In the mid-1900s strategies begin to be required for managing a successful business. With the US leading the way, strategies have gradually become more professional, heavy on analysis, and comprehensive.

Business leaders realize the importance of having a strategy in place and documented strategies exist in most companies.

They are characterized by:

  • Long-term strategic plans (5-10 years is normal)
  • Long execution period
  • No anchoring (organizational buy-in)
  • Steering by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and many targets.
  • The emergence of steering and performance measures through KPIs. Companies set targets and use KPIs to measure results.

If we fast-forward to around the year 2000, research shows that nine out of 10 implementations fail to be implemented successfully. There is a growing need for faster strategy execution and a process to better steer and measure progress and results. Concepts like strategy acceleration and business agile emerge.

Strategy acceleration and business agile are characterized by:

  • Adjustment to an increasingly changing world with demands for a faster pace of change
  • A need for a shorter timeline to execute plans (1 – maximum 3 years) and a faster strategy execution
  • Measuring of both results and progress (that the correct actions are taken in pursuit of the target)
  • Focus on fewer and the most important goals

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein

We have gathered some highlights and major improvements and developments within the field of strategy execution.

Harvard business review, 2000

As the research shows, too many companies fail with their strategy execution, something we brought up in earlier posts as well.  In the next post in the blog series, we will look at what differentiates traditional strategy execution from strategy acceleration to understand the background to the statistics. 


Continue reading the Strategy Acceleration blog series

This blog series is based on the book “Strategy Acceleration”. It is made for everyone that wants to learn how to execute and to realize your company strategy.  It will give you the practical know-how to transform your strategy from words on a  piece of paper into real everyday action.   

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