According to the consultants at Marakon, companies typically realize only about 60% of their strategies’ potential value because of defects and breakdowns in planning and execution. Yet, by following seven simple rules, you can get a lot more than that.

Marakon found that the processes companies use to develop plans and monitor performance make it difficult to discern whether the strategy-to-performance gap stems from poor planning, poor execution, both, or neither.

Here’s what they found:

  • Companies rarely track performance against long-term plans.
  • Multi-year results rarely meet projections.
  • A lot of value is lost in translation.
  • Performance bottlenecks are frequently invisible to top management.
  • The strategy-to-performance gap fosters a culture of underperformance.

To help close the strategy-to-execution gap, Marakon recommends the following seven steps:

  1. Keep it simple, make it concrete.
  2. Debate assumptions, not forecasts.
  3. Use a rigorous framework, speak a common language.
  4. Discuss resource deployments early.
  5. Clearly identify priorities.
  6. Continuously monitor performance.
  7. Reward and develop execution capabilities.
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