5 things to avoid in strategy execution

What are the most common things to avoid in strategy execution? Resistance to change often delays the implementation of new processes, tools or methodologies necessary for organizations to move forward. So, if they are so necessary, why do executives and managers postpone them?

5 most common mistakes to avoid in strategy execution

Do you have new processes or improvements or methodologies to roll out to the enterprise user base of your organization? Are you thinking and planning in terms of proper strategic execution? You better be, because just winging it can’t be an option. Any improvement is going to shake up the system and cause disruption in the form of resistance, potential employee turnover, small to large learning curve, and may even affect your most treasured external customers and project stakeholders.

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That said, change is a good thing most of the time. So if you are implementing a large change, do it right. And by doing it right, you may want to avoid these five things…

  1. Partial adoption is never an option.
  2. Don´t go for the short-term win.
  3. Profits are not necessarily a high concern.
  4. Employee turnover is ok – maybe even necessary.
  5. Don´t forget your best clients.

1. Partial adoption is never an option

When you are thinking of enterprise strategic execution, accepting partial adoption can never be an option. Partial adoption leads to over-budget spending and a process that is given very little chance or life before deeming it an utter failure without really ever giving it a serious chance.

The only way to throw away corporate dollars faster would be to drive down the highway with an open bag of money and the windows open. Senior leadership needs to back it and aid the progress of full-scale corporate acceptance and adoption. Without serious leadership involvement, that full adoption will simply not happen.

2. Don’t go for the short-term win

When thinking strategic execution of a process or a technology, the most wasteful thing you can do is think in the short term. It is the equivalent of fans buying tickets in advance for the Superbowl or the Champions League final, paying for travel and hotel accommodation, only to have their favorite team fail to qualify for the final. Sometimes it works, most times it does not.

Think in terms of building strategy and processes for long-term success and good, solid customer wins and retention. That’s where your company stability comes from – that’s where your good employee base retention comes from and that’s where your customer retention and reference-ability comes from.

3. Profits are not necessarily a high concern

Remember – it’s not always about project or company profits. It is about putting your dollars and efforts in the right places and toward the meaningful ends. Over time, if you do it right, you’ll get there.

Success and profits will happen. But they never happen Day One. You just pray they happen before everything financially falls apart because too much strife and struggle can be the death of less focused organizations.

4. Employee turnover is ok – maybe even necessary

Losing employees – even good ones – in the name of pushing the organization forward in the right direction at a time when it is needed most is ok. Maybe even necessary. Not everyone will be on board with major strategic change, and if it’s needed and they can’t conform at the critical moment then they likely never will.

Talent can be replaced and it will probably end up being for the best. We need change agents and forward thinkers to be successful.

5. Don’t forget your best clients

Your clients are important – especially your most important clients on your biggest and longest-term projects. Bounce strategic ideas of them, look for their input and feedback. And after the changes take place, get insight from these clients and end-users on how successful and beneficial the change seems to them.

We don’t want to look at the strategic execution of any initiative or new process or improvement from just our perspective. It may seem better to us, but could end up being a very difficult change for a very important long-term customer. Avoid that situation!


The bottom line is this – Agile isn’t for everyone, everywhere and every organization. But it has shown, over time, to be the right move for most who have taken on the challenge. Starting small with a pilot project and expanding that adoption window is the right way to enable the organization to quickly revert to the old ways if needed. However, full buy-in and commitment and transition should be the plan – otherwise why try at all.

What are your thoughts on Agile adoption? Has your organization taken on the move to Agile methods? What walls did they come up against? How did they respond – how did the resistant workforce respond? Who did project success change?

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