An unsettling new study by Booz & Company discussed in the Harvard Business Review shows that many executives believe they aren’t strategically positioned to win. While the study addresses business strategy, what I often find missing in companies is that a solid strategy is in place, but the internal will to get the company on board is often lacking. The head isn’t talking to the body of the company in order to make strategic efforts effective. As it’s been said many times, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This could very well be why the surveyed companies are finding lackluster results as the survey didn’t probe how they tried to implement the strategy – by engaging their employees and key stakeholders to create a groundswell momentum or from their ivory tower wondering why everyone in the company isn’t ‘getting’ their brilliant strategy. While the latter may be scoffed at, a realistic look will unveil that this is more often the case.
This study is a perfect case in point that business strategy doesn’t live alone. Without developing and nurturing the company’s brand – and every company has one whether they have defined it or not – the body of the company will not follow the head of the company. And this leads to confusion, apathy and lackluster growth.