Five Questions Regarding Failure to Implement

Troubled companies are generally not surprised when they fail. Their ailments have been known for some time and the outcomes are usually predictable. It’s not that they miss sales or profitability projections for lack of good ideas, or because they don’t have creative ideas for new products or services.

“Owners and management teams generally know their industry and their market and have solid ideas for growing their businesses and solving problems,” explains Jim Horan, a Vistage Associate and founder of CFO Consulting Group in the Bay Area. “In general, companies fail to achieve their goals because they don’t implement the plans they’ve created.”

If your company gets stuck or talks about solutions but fails to implement them, there may be unspoken or unresolved issues causing the inaction. Finding the underlying causes to these unspoken issues is critical to moving your company forward.

Jim recommends asking yourself or your management team the following questions:

  1. Do we really agree on the root cause of our problems?
  2. Do we truly believe the plans we’ve outlined are doable and realistic?
  3. Are we placing our resources (time, money, people, etc.) on lower-priority tasks? If so, why?
  4. Who are we protecting in our company? Are we ignoring a performance, capability or accountability issue?
  5. What sacred cows (company traditions, practices or beliefs) no longer serve us well?”These are difficult questions,” Jim admits. “But your company’s success may depend on how you answer them. Take the risk, ask the questions and listen to the responses. Make it your business to implement plans successfully and enjoy the successes you’re seeking.”

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