It all started with a passion to understand why acquisitions, turnarounds, and most strategic initiatives fail to achieve their desired financial or operational results. Our research team examined results from world renowned experts in these fields and the conclusion was the same, 70% of these critical business efforts failed – but why? This question launched a 12,000 hour research effort in 40 high performing companies to find the answer.
The thesis was that high performing companies; those that achieve top quartile (financial and operational) results year-over-year were doing something that others were not. The belief was that the company’s CEO was the key to success. The team set research parameters and began to collect vast amounts of information on CEO’s. After one year and almost 6,000 hours of interviews and correlation studies, the team reached an alarming conclusion that CEO’s were critical, but were not the secret to “execution results”. At this point, the research efforts halted with the potential of a complete shutdown given the obvious lack of findings.
At the same time, a member of the research team was conducting a parallel study with second and third level leadership teams. The study revealed an astonishing breakthrough. When 35% or greater of the teams scored high on 15 success criteria, (developed from working with the 40 companies) we saw a strong correlation to financial or operational results.
This focus on measuring teams tied to outcomes was a breakthrough. We began to see that teams achieved most major results, not individuals. We called this first variable Team Leadership Capability. At that point, all efforts shifted to understanding and precisely measuring the critical variables of teams that predicted future results. Two more were uncovered, team Goal Load and team Continuity. When these three variables were viewed together, they predicted future business outcomes with great accuracy up to 12 months in the future.
We realized at that point we had discovered the missing link, “Execution Analytics” which answered the question, “Why do 70 percent of all strategic initiatives fail to meet their financial or operational objectives?”
Click for a research summary