1. Lacking internal expertise.
Most companies are facing unprecedented disruption from key market trends, but that doesn’t mean the enterprise strategy team has the bandwidth to fully analyze and understand them. For instance, it’s impossible to develop a strategy based around, say, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) if your strategy team lacks sufficient knowledge and subject matter expertise to analyze these important data science trends. Companies, unfortunately, typically focus on what they’re good at — until something new comes along and is potentially even more critical.
2. Meeting aggressive timelines.
Corporate strategy teams are often given tight deadlines based on the scheduled release of earnings reports or board meetings, which have little or nothing to do with the underlying challenges of the project. These “externally driven deadlines” can get in the way of delivering optimal results. Unrealistic deadlines, untethered to the internal demands of the project itself, can also burn out the strategy team, leading (again) to disappointing deliverables.
3. Learning to blend digital tools and hybrid teams.
Every corporate strategy team should be constantly pursuing efficiency. That’s a growing challenge, however, because it requires the capacity to constantly restructure enterprise assets and talent. As new digital tools like the IoT emerge, enabling enterprises to collect data in real time, strategy teams will be hard-pressed to learn how to use all of this data to inform strategic development and decision-making.
4. Evangelizing a “change mindset.”
Corporate strategy teams that fail to adopt innovative strategies and fall behind their market rivals have one thing in common: a bias favoring the way they’ve always done things. Strategy is about change, and driving change requires individuals and organizations to have a “change mindset.” It takes humility to admit that a better way might exist elsewhere; it takes an open mind to understand why that better way worked somewhere else and how it might be applied here; it takes determination and follow-through to drive change, aligning your people, processes and systems around new ways of working. Coping with and taking advantage of change is the ultimate challenge for enterprises and strategy teams.