Strategy & change: are they related?
I recently came across a statement saying that only around 25% of all companies have a strategy in place. The statement also referred to statistics saying that 80% of all change efforts failed. The question is: are the two phenomena somehow related?
If a strategic plan includes a mission, a vision, objectives, a business model, values, a strategy, a plan for the execution and a corresponding “budget”, then I think is fair to say that a majority of companies and institutions do not have this in place. If we also require that the elements of the “strategic plan” are recognized by everyone in the organization, then the percentage takes a further dip. And if we also require that each individual in the organization knows how to contribute executing the strategy and fulfill the vision, then the percentage is single digit.
Making changes is extremely difficult. A “strategic plan” should explain why the changes have to take place and prepare the individuals in the organization on the cognitive level. However, making the change happen is a leadership issue. Without strong leadership no major change will happen.
So: Yes there is a relationship between successful change execution and the presence of a plan justifying the change (the strategic plan).
I assume we have four scenarios:
- Plan & leadership = major change will happen and we can measure the impact
- Plan & no leadership = nothing will happen
- No plan & leadership = major change will happen but the impact is difficult to assess
- No plan & no leadership = nothing will happen