Strategy can be defined as a plan which an organization wants to pursue. For a strategy to be implemented successfully by an organization, it must be fully customized to the specifics of the organization. The success of many organizations which implement a strategy is founded not only just upon the goods or services that they trade, but also upon the fundamental capabilities which underlie the production, development, and marketing of those goods or services. Strategy exists in different levels in an organization depending on the size and degree of diversification (Nour, 2013). There are numerous challenges which an organization faces when implementing a strategy such as misunderstanding of strategy, poor management support, language barrier, and inadequate training to employees, This paper analyzes the main problems an organization is likely to encounter in its quest to implement a strategy.
The Main Organizational Problems which are Likely to be Associated with Implementation of a Strategy
Strategy implementation can be defined as the action phase of the strategic management process. In strategy implementation process, there are four basic elements which include identification of general strategic objectives both quantitative and qualitative; formulation of specific plans with clear tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities; resource allocation and budgeting; and monitoring and control procedures (Nour, 2013). Some of the main organizational problems associated with the implementation of a strategy include cultural differences, poor understanding of broader scope and goals, unawareness or misunderstanding of strategy, poor management support, language barrier, inadequate training to employees, technical problems, and insufficient knowledge of markets. It is inevitable that the implementation of a strategy will fail when organizations fail to address these factors accordingly during the implementation of the strategy.
Cultural differences and language barriers present a challenge to the implementation of a strategy since differentiating the product to respond to local demands in various geographical markets would be a challenge due to a lack of understanding and poor communication. Transparent and honest communication is essential to the success of any organization and can be used to shape culture to a certain extent. Making communication interesting, concise and flexible to clearly convey overall objectives creates a positive atmosphere and increases motivation. In addition, the inability to manage change and reduce resistance to implementation of new strategic decisions is a challenge which organizations face in its quest to implement a strategy. Strategy implementation deals with changes in structure, systems, culture, & policies in order to operationalize and institutionalize strategies so as to ensure success (Nour, 2013). Resistance to change, therefore, occurs as a result of misunderstanding, lack of trust, intolerance to change, job security, breaking up of colleagues among others (Nour, 2013). Also, poor vertical communication between employees and management and the inconsistent flow of information in a hierarchical organization results to the loss of information which in turn affects the implementation of a strategy. It is therefore essential that an organization has the right leaders and management team in place to communicate and implement a strategy.
For organizations to successfully implement a strategy these challenges need to be addressed and a solution devised. Not only is fostering a strategy supportive organizational climate and culture important, but also necessary in the implementation of strategies effectively. In order to successfully counter strategy implementation problems, organizations should schedule regular reviews of their strategies so as to ensure that the strategy is performing as it was envisioned. Moreover, training employees will equip them with the necessary skills and ensure long term consistency.
Nour, A. M. (2013). Challenges of strategy implementation faced by international NGOs in Somaliland. Unpublished MBA project, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.