Hult Ashridge faculty, Alison Reynolds, along with David Lewis asked 80 senior executives from 20 countries where they focus their attention during strategic execution, the leaders overwhelmingly pointed to tangible things such as organizational structures and processes. But they also told the researchers that their biggest barriers to great execution were intangible things such as employee interaction and mindsets. Why do leaders knowingly focus on the wrong things? Because even though leaders know the ”intangibles” are what really matter to great strategy execution, addressing them is really hard. It takes genuine engagement and two-way interaction. It means admitting you don’t have all the answers. It takes giving up a certain amount of control. But there is more value to be found in exploring an open question than in imposing an answer that cannot be seriously challenged. Leaders who learn to escape the tyranny of the tangible will find that their strategy-execution gap gets a lot smaller.

Read the full article on Harvard Business Review.