Binomial Innovates -
Binomial is an innovation consulting firm helping clients be disruption-ready

Is your strategy failing? Here’s what you can do to increase its success.

Baoxuan Tan
Baoxuan Tan

January 25, 2022

No items found.

What comes into your mind when you think about strategy? The word ‘strategy’ may come off as daunting, but it should be familiar to most of us — we practice strategizing when making most decisions in life in order to excel. Deciding which school to go, choosing what career to pursue, planning how to save up for our house or even retirement, these are decisions most of us make only after strategizing and considering their longer-term impact.

Similarly, when growing a business or leading a team, we need to adopt the same approach and mindset. Earlier in 2020, we published an article titled “We All Need A Strategy” introducing what strategy is, why and how you can set up a strategy for your business or yourself. 2 years on, has your strategy worked, or has it failed? In a review by Candido and Santos in the Journal of Management & Organization back in 2015, the fail rate of strategies ranged from as low as 7% to as high as 90%, with the average being approximately 50%. 

In this article, we share the 3Is that may contribute to the failure of your strategy, and share how you can increase your success rates.

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

1) Incongruence

Incongruence occurs when the different strategies mapped across different parts of the organization are made independently of one another, and do not complement one another. This could be due to a lack of internal communication or review, leading to conflict in resources such as time, capital and manpower that are critical to achieving desired outcomes.

To tackle this, leaders should adopt a holistic approach during the entire planning process. Reviewing the different strategies across the organization simultaneously will help them maintain a clearer view of the larger picture. This allows leaders to better allocate resources to each strategy as required. As time passes, it helps to review their performance and give additional attention or resources to the ones that are making the desired impact. It is also critical to place enough emphasis and follow-through on the strategies to give them the needed time to create change.

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

2) Incoherence

Incoherence occurs when your strategy and  implementation plan is not mapped out in the right direction your organization is going for. This could be due to an unclear goal or real-time knowledge gaps that resulted in your strategy not aligned with your overall vision and mission, or deviation during implementation. For a strategy to work, it is important to make sure you are constantly adapting it and the implementation plan to suit the changing environment. 

Here are 2 ways to build an agile strategy:

  1. Scenario Planning
    Planning for various worst-case scenarios gives you the flexibility to make incremental changes to your strategy as the environment evolves. This also gives way to a shorter turnaround time, allowing you to adapt quickly to changes.

  2. Adopt real-time analysis
    Constantly analyze your external environment and its changes allow you to continually adapt your strategy. Doing so also allows you to identify potential trends or disruptions ahead so you can plan and stay ahead of the curve. Remember you have many data analytics and AI tools that you can tap on.
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

3) Inconsistency

Inconsistency happens when strategies are not carried out according to its intended plan due to poor understanding of strategy by the team, or a resistance to change within the organization. To address this, purposeful communication and a change management plan will help you minimize confusion and set expectations with the team.

As mentioned in our first article here, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is also a useful tool for you to communicate timeline, expectations, actionable items as well as success metrics.

A strategy is not just about coming up with a plan, it also requires constant review to understand its impact across the organization  and commitment to a course of action. It is a common misconception that a leader’s role is completed once the strategy is defined and mapped out. Ensuring your strategy is carried out smoothly downstream is equally, if not more important. While not all strategies will succeed, we can certainly take steps to increase the chances of success.

Thank you for getting in touch! We will reach out and contact you soon.
Sorry. Something went wrong while submitting the form.
More from Binomial
read more insights