A recently released Booz & Co. study found that the majority of executives in all industries admitted that deciding on priorities and linking decisions to those priorities is a big hurdle at their firms. In fact, 52% of the 18,000 executives interviewed say they don’t feel their company’s strategy will lead to success.
Here is the core issue: 64% of executives say their biggest frustration is having too many conflicting priorities (making everyone happy). I believe the big problem here is that these executives are wimping out; they are not holding their leaders accountable for making clear, tough decisions on what they are going to achieve and how they are going to achieve it.
During my decades with Procter & Gamble, I came to realize the most important aspect of the P&G Brand Management system was that the small 4 or 5 person brand group charged with running a specific brand was rewarded by studying consumer behavior carefully, listening to lots of advice from support groups like product development, sales and manufacturing, and then making clear decisions on what they thought would win with the consumer. They knew they were rewarded only by winning with the consumer. No compromises were required, other organizations did not have to concur with plans, and you ignored all other brands the company marketed. In essence, leaders were encouraged (in fact required) to lead. It is still their strength today.
Why do you think all those execs are weaving those complicating webs of frustration?