This blog series is based on the book “Strategy Acceleration” written by Ulf Arnetz and Catrin Brodin. The book was developed for everyone that wants to learn how to execute and to realize company strategy. In this blog series, you’ll get access to the key take-aways from the book.
70% of all change processes go belly up. Nine out of ten implementations fail. 67% of the strategy implementations fall through because of poor execution. Too many companies struggle with the implementation of strategies. Everyone understands how important it is, but the frustration of not knowing HOW it is going to happen creates the feeling that strategy execution is difficult and not much fun. That’s a view we would like to change. So many companies need to implement their strategies in a different way and we will show you how.
Strategy is all about the future and HOW to get there. If this is not clear, there is a high risk of stumbling along and never getting there.
The working method is called Strategy Acceleration and Ulf and Catrin have seen it work time after time at different companies. They are convinced that this is the way to work with strategy execution now and in the future, assuming you want to continue to exist in today’s changing environment.
Both Ulf and Catrin have been working with strategy execution for years and believe it to be the most enjoyable thing they know. They’ve helped hundreds of companies make strategies successful. However, they’ve experienced a lot of frustration at these companies and met many CEOs tearing their hair out because their targets and strategies go down the drain year after year. Working with these companies, they’ve seen a change, slowly but surely, starting to emerge. The view on strategy execution is transformed. Employees get more involved in the work, and motivation and energy flow.
Digitalization creates new opportunities
It is not news that we live in a fast-changing world and this is something that we as human beings, citizens, and companies have to manage every day. Our companies operate in an environment with high demands from customers and employees and you can’t slack off in the battle against the competition. Anything can happen at any time—it is a question of being prepared for all kinds of surprises.
In recent years we have seen big changes in a number of industries. Companies like Netflix, Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb have completely changed the way we consume and do business with our customers. Digitalization creates new opportunities and companies who are quick to adopt new technologies have great opportunities to become successful.
Everybody knows this. And still, practically every day, we read about companies that fail at executing their strategies. For merely stable and successful companies cannot manage to adjust to the desired pace. Time after time we see—even in favorable conditions—that companies fail in their ventures. Mainly due to the failure of picking up on behavioral changes in the market. The competition catches up, accelerates, steps on the gas and overtakes them in no time.
This is painfully clear in a number of ways in today’s society. The most notable example of a continuous failure is something that concerns us all: the environment. World leaders meet at different summits and agree on targets, which are then communicated to the public. But in all honesty, it feels like we are lacking a realistic plan of how these goals will be achieved.
We see how strategic efforts continuously fail. Report after report from researchers indicates a high degree of failure when it comes to initiatives to create change.
Why can’t we reach the targets we have set? Why do we continue in the same old tracks when we know that the world is coming to an end? We find this incomprehensible.
Irrespective of whether this is about creating environmental improvements or strategic improvements in our companies – why is it so insanely difficult to create the change we so desperately want?
Of course, our companies have a strategy to lean on. CEOs and management teams often believe that they have a clear picture of where they want to go and how to get there. But it takes too long and is executed without enough structure. The result is a toothless strategy execution, which after a few years misses the mark. There is no cheering and the only thing to be heard is the sound of the competition racing past. One after the other.
The recipe to the art of strategy execution
If a company wants to keep up with development and create opportunities for long-term profitability, it has to:
- Have the ability to change
- And the ability to change fast
Continuous analysis, evaluation, ability to change course, develop and execute new strategies and possess a will as well as an ability to change, will be absolutely crucial for the survival of companies in the future.
The recipe for succeeding is to quickly execute one’s strategy before it gets outdated. That’s why we wrote the book Strategy Acceleration.
Ulf Arnetz, the co-author behind the book Strategy Acceleration.
A large and heavy freighter is a suitable symbol to illustrate how difficult it is to change course in medium to large companies and organizations. According to several industry analysts, among them, Gartner, 96 percent of all business leaders are of the opinion that it is important to have the ability to transform, as well as quickly change course. However, only 8 percent think that their own organization is good at transformation and timely execute strategy.
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