Data shows that the majority of CEO's believe they have a great strategy (90%+). Unfortunately, about 87% of the same CEO's say they fail to execute their strategy.
Understanding a company’s strategy, is often an incredibly complex undertaking. One has to interpret the strategy documents, risk registers, timeframes, quantities, options, known issues, etc. Absorbing this myriad of information is time consuming and difficult. To cope with this complexity things are naturally simplified down to that which just “affects the team.”
Since the strategy isn’t easily communicated only a select group end up knowing most of the detail. This “privileged” information, or knowledge, becomes power. Teams get pulled up AFTER they have tried to advance the strategy. The fact that they acted with the best of intentions is lost allocating blame.
This narrowed focus on individual teams causes barriers to collaboration. Inadvertently each team is now optimising their performance but it comes at the expense of others. The result is an environment where the typical problems that teams deal with on a day to day basis are not captured within the strategy.
When asked, the team’s say they don’t relate to the strategy.
Under these conditions, strategy will never be able to get the attention it deserves.
This problem has consumed much of our thinking and energy over recent years. We've developed an approach we call "Constraints Mapping." It captures all the contextual elements of strategy in one place. This includes representing the strategy, missions, risks, uncertainties and timings. The critical disruption points can be seen by everyone and now they can be engaged to something about them. It becomes easy for all teams to be able to relate to, and act upon. They can now link what they are doing, to what needs to be done to be moving towards the strategy.