Why do over 60% of transformation efforts fail? The reasons are many and varied – cost, excessive complication, insufficient in-house capability and trading downturns are all possible causes.

But one reason that is never mentioned is, in my experience, significant: too many CEOs and business leaders find the management of business change boring. They simply don’t want to spend the time and effort following up and following through on commitments and initiatives. 

My advice to most executive teams is to review progress on their major strategy initiatives on a monthly basis, at least. Many executives resist that advice, preferring a quarterly, half-yearly or even annual review cycle. 

Fine, but without the discipline of regular performance assessments, it is unlikely that your teams will deliver the change you’re after. Progress is inevitably slower and any changes in direction or tweaks to particular solutions will be delayed. Eventually, the momentum for change dwindles to a halt and your big strategic ambitions are lost.

It’s not like that everywhere, of course. At Amazon, Jeff Bezos has a weekly review of the company’s biggest initiatives and, during his turnaround of Asda in the 1990s, Archie Norman began every week with a Monday morning review of the latest in-store developments. Unsurprisingly, in both these instances, change happened – quickly!

Creating a higher review cadence will not, by itself, guarantee that your change initiatives will succeed. But, boring or not, without your regular attention I can guarantee that they will fail.

How often do you review, as a team, your most important strategic initiatives? And what steps can you take to increase the cadence of those reviews?

Off The Record: Boredom by Buzzcocks

You know me – I’m acting dumb

You know the scene – very humdrum

Boredom! Boredom! Boredom!

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.