Go to Market, Organizational Effectiveness
A long time client, a global nonprofit focused on global development, often speaks of the last mile. How can they ensure that the resources they prepare with such great care— the technology, medicine and food—are delivered to the people who need them in the rural countryside of poor nations?
Of course, those questions are usually answered (in the form of a strategy) before the journey to the countryside begins. But the ability to strategically execute becomes increasingly difficult as the supplies make their way toward the destination. Unexpected issues arise: complicated shipping logistics, uncooperative border patrols, wet weather that turns roads muddy, supply chain shortages, or a lack of on-the-ground resources to complete the distribution. Any one of these issues can derail the effort to deliver the value to those who need it most.
Suddenly, the last mile seems unbearably long.
Strategy, as it is often practiced in the guiding of organizations, has a last mile too. And it can take a similar path and fail to yield results.
According to Fortune magazine, 70- 90% of well-formulated strategies do not carry through to successful implementation—that is a lot of useless strategy. Then consider that US organizations are spending approximately $100 billion a year in management consulting on the creation of brilliant strategies. Given that level of investment, a 70-90% failure rate, and the inability of organizations to successfully achieve their long-term objectives due to the lack of implementation, we have a substantial strategy crisis. Or is it a deployment crisis? In fact, it is both.
There are many contributors to this crisis. However, from our experience at Point B working with clients on the successful creation and implementation of hundreds of strategies, it all comes down to one fundamental issue: How effectively does the organization leverage its human capital in its strategy deployment? In other words, to rephrase the theme of the 1992 US presidential election, “It’s the people, stupid.”