How to Implementing a Successful Strategy

  • Brian Kristiansen
  • November 30, 2020

70% of strategies fail for various reasons. These vary from the misinterpretation of an opportunity due to its design failure to a lack of competencies, follow ups or adjustments to external changes.

The reasons for this are well-known from behavioural economics:

Humans are hardwired to focus narrowly. Once they fall in love with an idea, they stop looking for disconfirming evidence - particularly if the idea came from the top. Then, they build unrealistic plans, stick with the status quo and then never look back.

How to implement a Successful Strategy
Once an idea forms, it is essential to broaden your perspective with, for example, a megatrend analysis or stretch targets. You can also compare several endeavours simultaneously to avoid the tendency to misinterpret an opportunity, a market, or a product and get the leadership team on the same page.

1. Make an unbiased decision using tools like crowdsourcing, iterative and coherent methodologies, or a predefined selection criteria and core priorities to avoid design failures, particularly from a confirmation bias.

2. Dive deeper into areas where more, or contradicting evidence is needed to avoid the overconfidence that leads to poor budgets and unrealistic timelines. Zoom in on a few areas to double check data after making most decisions.

3. Always prepare to be wrong, and run a pre-mortem process to identify potential challenges. Test the strategy incrementally and set up an early warning system before diving in deeper.

As a result, in the short term you achieve a unique, solid and fast strategy backed by an aligned team, thus substantially increasing its likelihood of success.