Nov 28 • 2 min read

It’s great to dream. It is also very exciting to think up ways you can move the needle for your organization. But you must build a team that can bring your strategy to fruition, which is no small feat. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), an estimated 67% of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution last year.

At the Fox School of Business, we often hear how employees’ skill gaps are a key reason these kinds of failures occur. The good news is that this is a simple problem that can be overcome. Execution doesn’t have to kill your company… or your dreams.

Take a minute to consider how your company can be more successful in deploying its strategy.

Strengthen Pertinent Skills

As an executive, you must deliver opportunities to fill your employees’ skill gaps so that they are prepared to carry out the right course of action (RE: your strategy). Skills to focus on depend on your organization’s needs and goals. They could include negotiation, communication, finance, leadership, or others. Spending on workshops in these areas will decrease the likelihood that you’ll fall down when executing. Your competition already knows this. That’s why, according to HBR, budget allocated toward corporate professional development increased by over 310% in a three-year period.

Know Your Market

Teams often fail when they’re too internally focused. They must understand market dynamics, the competition, and how the firm’s strategy can grow the bottom line and make the organization a market leader. When it comes to shaping strategy, and delivering an action plan, it is also crucial that your team understands your customers, even if they aren’t working in a marketing function. Doing so will help them tune into the business environment, anticipate market dynamics, and understand the role they play in successfully executing a strategy.

Put Data into Practice

Educate and empower your executives to use data effectively and beneficially for your organization—and then put this to work during the execution phase of your business strategy. To begin with, you must collect meaningful employee performance metrics and provide information in an appropriate way to your employees—this is the growing field of human capital analytics. This approach will not only help you analyze and leverage metrics to drive your bottom-line, it will also help your employees understand their personal contributions.

These skills are the building blocks to ensure that your organization can execute on its strategy.

Interested in learning how the Fox School of Business Executive Education can help you? Contact the Center for Executive Education or email me at

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