If our strategy is so good, why is our performance so bad?

by / Sunday, 29 December 2013 / Published in Maximizing Performance

Variations of this question appeared time and time again in the five years I studied organizations going through business-model transformation as they expanded internationally. I began to look closely at the differences between under-performing and superior-performing organizations as they attempted to turn strategic intent into desired business results.

One of the fundamental characteristics of executives in superior-performing organizations was the recognition that the ability to successfully formulate and execute a coherent business strategy is intrinsically linked to formulating and executing a robust leadership strategy. This recognition raised decisions about leadership development to the strategic level.

Like interwoven strands of DNA, business strategy and leadership strategy are intimately linked. The business strategy sets the direction of the organizational journey and the leadership strategy acts as the human enabler to reach the organization’s full performance potential.


While most senior executives recognize the importance of developing leadership talent, their leadership development efforts often are not connected to their strategy processes. This disconnect prevents organizations from identifying and enacting wise strategies. Business strategies often do not address an organization’s ability to implement those strategies. A leadership strategy is needed to unleash the potential of individuals and groups throughout the organization if they are to achieve success.

The leadership strategy process is what makes the business strategy come alive in the organization. A leadership strategy bridges the gap between strategy and performance. It clarifies how many leaders an organization needs, the type of leaders needed, where they are needed, as well as the type of skills and behaviors required if it is to succeed in its performance goals (Pasmore, 2009).

Adapted from – White Paper:  Bridging the Performance / Strategy Gap: How leadership strategy drives business results

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