Strategy implementation is a hot topic today. Managers spend billions of dollars on consulting and training in the hope to create brilliant strategies. But all too often brilliant strategies do not translate into brilliant performance. Strategy implementation ranks high on top managers’ agendas but is a topic that has not received sufficient attention in the academic world. It seems like academics assume that if a firm has a strategy, it gets implemented automatically. But talk with managers and most will admit that their organization is experiencing significant problems with translating their strategy into concrete activities and results. Why do so many companies struggle with strategy implementation? And what can be done about it? In this article, I first present five root causes why strategy implementation is so hard. Some of these root causes deal with the quality of the strategy itself, the others deal with the topic of implementation. Then, I present a new model that tackles many of these issues. This model consists of three building blocks and is called the Strategy-Alignment-Commitment model. The article zooms in on each of the three building blocks and provides useful suggestions how to increase the success rate of your strategy implementation programs.
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