In order to really try to understand the functional area of strategy we run a online survey targeted towards business executives. Based on the responses on this survey we can draw some conclusions on the executives own perspective on strategy; which we believe is really interesting and provide good insights.
We have previously published a full article with the survey results based on responses coming in during 2012 and through this new post we would like to provide some brief updates on the additional responses that we have received.
The overarching conclusions is clear: There is great lost opportunity hidden behind the topic of business strategy, i.e. there is a great gap between potential of strategy and the actual benefit gained today.
Through the strategy survey it is clear that there is a great belief in the power of strategy, 89% of the respondents believe that strategy can have a significant impact on the company’s ability to achieve profitable growth; this is clearly demonstrating the potential of business strategy. Unfortunately only 21% of the respondents believe that the concept of strategy is clearly and consistently defined. Here is were we start to see the value gap.
Furthermore, through the questions asked in the survey it is also clear that the definition of strategy is not the only issue that business executives are faced with. In fact the most common issue as identified by executives answering the survey is the implementation of the strategy, 70% of the respondents believed that to be one of the key challenges with strategy.
All of the challenges expressed from executives working with business strategy is translated in to a lost business opportunity, i.e. realising that great opportunity effectively working with strategy to achieve profitable growth.
Only 27% of the respondents believe there own company has a clearly defined strategy. 20% of the respondents believe their company’s strategy clearly articulates a competitive advantage, 31% believe their strategy can articulate the targeted customers and markets, 33% of the respondents believe their strategy clearly defines the products and services that the company brings to the market and 29% of the respondents believe their own strategy clearly articulates the business model they have chosen. Of course, in order for us to be able to say that company’s today have an ability to fully leverage the potential of business strategy, the share of executives that agree to these simple statements need to be much higher. Consequently, the overarching conclusion from this strategy survey update is that we see a great value gap between the potential identified with business strategy and the actual value we today manage to extract.