Your 2021 Strategy - Are You Setting Yourself Up to Fail Even Before the Year Begins?


Imagine spending countless hours, and immense human capital, formulating a strategy for 2020 only to find out your employees aren’t equipped to deliver the vision. Or worse, your current culture is so fragile, any change is viewed with skepticism and dread. Think it doesn’t occur? Keep reading…


We have partnered with many clients while they try to formulate a strategy for the following year and I'm always astonished at the answer I receive to the following question: Do you think your current culture is equipped to execute the new strategy you just presented?


To be honest, I’m not the most popular person in the room after that question. Very often, I am greeted with looks of annoyance or even contempt. The funny thing is, they hired me to tell them the truth, but when met with the truth it tends to get uncomfortable. My job is to move my clients off that comfortable pedestal they have been living on. The one that got them into challenge they are faced with today and the reason they have employed our help. Soon the looks turn from annoyance and contempt to indictment as they realize their current culture is nowhere near ready to execute what they are planning.

Let’s use a hypothetical but realistic example using the question I described in the previous paragraph. Imagine you are a large to mid-size organization. There were decisions made about 3 years ago that caused a breach of trust between your executive team and employee base. The breach was so bad that the employees still have little to no faith in the decisions or changes you have tried to make since the incident.


At this point the damage has manifested in many symptoms that are telltale signs of trust issues and a broken organizational culture. 

  • Turnover rates have risen dramatically.  

  • Employee morale is in the dumpster. 

  • Productivity has sharply declined. 

Do you think this organization has any chance at achieving their future strategies without a major intervention? Nope.


The above scenario is not uncommon. Because of this, it is important to ask yourself the following questions while pulling together your 2020 strategy.  

  1. Does your organization have a strong enough culture to forge ahead on your 2020 strategy?  Are there any trust issues you should address as part of the plan?  

  2. Do you believe the employee base will embrace the changes you are attempting to make in 2020? Are they equipped to deliver the results you are looking for? 

The future of your organization is directly related to your culture. To achieve your goals, you must be realistic about the status of your current culture. You can't formulate your strategy and hope the employee base will accept it and be able to execute the plan. Hope isn't a strategy. 

Don’t believe me?  Think of the thousands of hours wasted in turnover costs by good employees who throw up their hands and leave due to a broken culture. Think of the lack of productivity from employees who are distracted by what they perceive as unfair changes to their lives. Think of the inefficiency that occurs from confusion when half of your employee base doesn’t buy in to your new initiatives and are causing slowdowns and bottlenecks in your processes. $$$$$$. Do you think you want to take culture into account when developing your 2020 strategy now?

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