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Why Most Companies Can't Turn Their Plans into Results

Posted by Insightlink on 04/14/15

The Crucial Step is Overlooked


Ever notice how hard it is for companies to turn their plans into results? According to Harvard Business Review a full 75 per cent of organizations assess themselves as ‘poor’ at turning plans into results.
With the best of intentions, companies spend millions of dollars and hours developing solutions that don’t come to fruition. In his article titled ‘The Crucial Step 75% of Companies Get Wrong’, Fred Pidsadny, founder and President of FOCUS Management, says the answer is so simple that it’s often overlooked. He has found that organizations that can’t turn strategy into action usually fail on one (or all) of three key measures:

• Clarity: Is your strategic plan infused with laser-like clarity? Does each individual on the team have the exact same understanding of the strategy? Do they support it? And how do you know this for sure—have you asked them? Great leaders take time to address even the smallest of concerns so that the strategy is crystal clear to everyone, and everyone understands the actions and decisions for which he or she is responsible.
• Alignment: Is the strategic plan aligned to both the external business landscape, and the internal environment of the organization? Do team members, especially those from different functional units, have a shared vision and purpose, and measurable goals for success? Great leaders ensure that each team member’s objectives and activities are laser aligned with the strategic priorities of the plan. They also help team members to define what success means to them.
• Accountability: Have you established accountability and authority for team members to make decisions or take action? This is a straightforward process that is rarely done because authority is usually implied or assumed in a role. Too often authority is assumed by aggressive individuals with a need to have their voice heard; too often it is avoided by non-committals. Great leaders assign specific levels of authority, and align them with the tasks to be done, and the expected, already-clarified results. They also discuss authority levels openly within the team that is being held accountable.

Pidsadny's gold standard strategy execution can only occur through a strategic alignment process with clarity, alignment and accountability measures. And from an employee engagement perspective, which is Insightlink’s focus in all work-related discussions, a well-executed strategy as described here by Pidsadny, will enhance and increase levels of employee engagement.

If you want to improve engagement at work, start by measuring it. For more information about employee engagement or employee opinion surveys, contact us at or go to

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