One of the biggest inhibitors to business success is an organization’s inability to execute on their strategy – their execution gap.

Photo Credit:  Execunet “Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap” by William Flamme, May 2, 2016

Considerable effort and many resources are put into the creation of a strategic plan and, all too often, little to no resources put into actually getting down to the business of delivering on the desired results of that plan.

Does this sound familiar? If so, you are not alone, 80-85% of companies who actually have a plan fail to execute on their strategy. How is this affecting your business? How do you close your execution gap?

Strategy is developed by a senior team and seeks to align effort with a vision of the company’s future. It typically comes from top leadership down. Execution, on the other hand, will only be implemented when it is “owned” and directed by those who do the work each and every day.

While strategy is a focus and key component of directing the company for senior leaders, executing on strategy is typically not part of the roles and responsibilities of your next level leaders. It is often outside of the thinking and processes of their operational responsibilities. Executives often have difficulty letting go of or clearly delegating a strategic execution process. These are important initiatives, and they may not trust themselves or others to step up and deliver. Especially when it is outside what they need to do to perform their daily responsibilities.

To close the execution gap and successfully create the results that matter to your company you will need to:

  • Confirm the executive team is committed and ready to support the next level of leaders to take on the process of execution;
  • Identify the right people to lead the execution process and empower them to do so;
  • Acknowledge that the process requires real leadership, and requires courage and vulnerability;
  • Provide the resources, time, and learning required to achieve meaningful results—and be consistent;
  • Develop a regular and ongoing cadence for execution;
  • Accept that execution is about people process and tools
  • Right size deliverables:
  • Know that the process is both foundational, i.e., what is core to our company and dynamic, i.e., what market trends and new information affect our direction;
  • Allow the team to build new practices and ways to interact and connect;
  • Support the execution team to learn as they go, celebrate successes, pause and pivot when needed, and learn how to execute while keeping their eye on what matters – the company’s vision.

As the gap begins to close and fewer important initiatives fail to get implemented, your team will start to experience a sense of satisfaction while building step by step on measurable results. This will allow you to engage more and more employees and, ultimately, you will have a strategy that is understood and can be acted on by everyone in the company.

To contact Patsy Feeman at New Legends Now please email her at