Why Do Most Strategies Fail? 6 Reasons.

By Rick Houcek

The business landscape is littered with strategies that have failed… companies that have tried new directions, entered new markets with no success.

What causes all of these failures?  Well, let me give you 6 points to keep in mind anytime you execute a new strategy

  1. There’s no hot, hungry, target market pre-identified before launching. That, in my mind, is the single biggest reason for strategic failure.  Make sure there are people willing to spend money for what you have to sell.  You’re better off entering a red ocean of heavy competition where it is proven that buyers will spend money, often and repeatedly… than risking costly failure in an untested blue ocean with no guaranteed group of ravenous buyers.  The trick in the red ocean is to do SOMETHING DIFFERENT that has wide appeal.
  1. There’s no buy-in among the leaders or implementers – or both – on your team. This kills strategies.  When, internally, the action steps that must take place to execute the strategy aren’t fully bought into by the people who are on the team.
  1. There’s no accountability. Nobody on your team is getting their actions done and there’s no consequences for their non-performance.  We let everybody off the hook.  Stop it!
  1. Decisions are built on unfounded opinion and not on fact. More often than not, the best strategies are built on fact.  Things that have proven themselves to be true in the past.  So, pay attention to that.
  1. Not trusting your gut instinct. Well, having just said #4, this one may sound counterintuitive, because it’s the opposite. But, yes, not trusting your gut instinct can cause failure too.  Truth is, there are some times when facts are either un-acquirable, or just don’t matter.  You’ve got to trust your gut and it’s a balancing act.  You’ve got to know:  when do I build on fact; when do I trust my gut.  There’s never an easy answer to that – it’s instinctual – but over time, you get good at it.
  1. There’s no testing. Too often, companies are in a hurry, race to complete, and don’t test.  Here’s a good rule of thumb:  Test small, fail fast, fix fast, and reintroduce.  Just don’t ignore the test.  Some companies have a new strategy and then bet the farm by rolling it out on a big scale first.  And when it fails, it’s costly.  And it hurts big.  Test it small first.

Keep those 6 things in mind as you create and execute new strategies and you’ll have much more success.


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