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Why Some Strategic Plans Fail

By Shannon Sage

Why Some Strategic Plans Fail

Time and time again we hear that failing to plan is planning to fail. If this is so true, then why do so many strategic plans actually fail?  We created OnStrategy to help our customers from failing and to implement their strategic plans. There’s always been a type of disconnect between creating an organization’s strategy and then taking the steps to execute it.

Implementing your strategic plan is as important, if not more important, than your strategy. However, implementation is not the only reason why strategic plans fail.  Creating unrealistic goals, not having the strategy communicated throughout the organization, not having buy-in with the implementation, and having too much emphasis on the strategy and not implementation are just a few reasons to why strategic plans fail.  In a previous blog, Putting Your Strategic Plan to Work with Implementation, we list why nine out of ten organizations fail to implement their strategic plan.

Life and the day-to-day operations often take over well-intentioned implementation plans. The trick is to embed strategic planning into your daily operations and make it become natural instead of just one more thing to do.  Here are 10 ways to keep your strategic planning from hitting the shelf.



  1. Davis
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 01:48:37

    What are the two critical strategic planning tools?


    • Kristin Larsen
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:10:23

      Hi Davis, As much as I’d like to say otherwise, there aren’t just two critical strategic planning tools. Strategic planning is a process that begins with assessing your current position, defining your desired destination, and then crafting how you’ll get there using organizational objectives and goals. (A great overview is available here.). Our software, MyStrategicPlan, will walk you through the entire process and help you track the status of your goals so you know how your organization is preforming. (You can try a free 30-day trial here.). Other free tools for assessing your position to use for that include the SWOT tool, and the Business Report Cart. Once you know where you are and have identified your destination (Vision & Mission), it’s time to devise your strategy with SMART Goals. Don’t forget to track your progress. Hope that helps!




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