The Cost of Execution

The common barriers that are causing organizations to misdeliver on their strategy

The essentials

Investing in your capability to execute is as important – if not more important – than investments in strategy, notes Kathryn Brohman, associate professor and Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Management Information Systems at Smith School of Business. Brohman is a co-author of Shift: A New Mindset for Sustainable Execution. In this video she explains some common causes of execution failure and what organizations can do to improve.

Video Highlights:

0:25 Kathryn Brohman’s research finds companies put a lot of energy and focus into crafting really great strategies but fall short in their ability to drive the execution of those strategies. 

0:41 Executional barriers fall into three categories: structural barriers (poor resource allocation, lack of technology), rhythmic barriers (lack of consistency or prioritization) and awareness barriers (low engagement, silo-mentality, insularity).

2:19 There is a drag factor when these barriers build up, which can cost organizations valuable time and money. On average, 0.32 of an hour, or 32 cents on the dollar – depending on how you look at it – is lost navigating executional barriers.   

3:20 Leaders should stop prescribing how people work. Organizations that are going to survive are those that are going to push the limits. Sticking to the status quo is difficult in today’s competitive business environment. 

Smith School of Business

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