Key Highlights

  • Businesses with strategy issues may experience high staff turnover and dissatisfaction.
  • Inadequate compensation and lack of investment in employees may contribute to staff turnover.
  • Clear communication, well-defined goals, and an environment for employee growth can help reduce staff turnover and keep employees motivated.
  • Poor communication between departments or teams is a common symptom of strategy issues.
  • Issues such as unclear objectives, conflicting priorities, and lack of coordination may indicate a need to reassess the organization’s strategy.
  • Reactive decision-making, resistance to change, and inability to innovate may also signal strategy problems.
  • A lack of focus, overreliance on a single product or service, and failure to stay ahead of the competition are additional warning signs of strategy issues.
  • Taking proactive steps to address strategy problems can help businesses overcome plateaus and achieve success.

Do you feel like your business has hit a plateau? Are you having trouble staying ahead of the competition? It could be that you have strategy issues. The right strategy is essential for any business to succeed and stay competitive. But if you’re not sure if you have a strategy problem, there are certain signs you can look out for. In this blog post, we’ll go over the top 10 symptoms that show you have a strategy problem.

1. High Staff Turnover and Dissatisfaction

When employees are consistently leaving your business or simply not content with their roles, it’s a sign that you may have a strategy problem. This can be caused by a lack of clarity surrounding the organization’s mission and goals, as well as a lack of direction for how to achieve those goals. A failure to communicate effectively between departments and teams can also lead to confusion among staff and dissatisfaction in their roles.

High staff turnover can also indicate an inadequate compensation system and that the company is not offering enough incentives for employees to stay. Employees will be more likely to look elsewhere for work without proper incentives. Also, suppose the company is not properly investing in its team members. In that case, it will be unable to attract new and talented individuals who could help take the business to the next level.

To reduce staff turnover and dissatisfaction, creating an environment where employees feel appreciated and valued is important. This includes ensuring they are properly compensated for their hard work and receiving clear communication from their managers and leadership. Companies should also develop strategies to ensure they hire the right people for the right jobs and that their goals and objectives are well-defined so everyone is on the same page. Finally, creating an environment where employees can grow and learn is important, as it helps to keep staff engaged and motivated.

One of the most common symptoms of a strategy problem is poor communication between departments or teams. If your organization is experiencing any of the following issues, it may be a sign that there’s a problem with your strategy:

  • Silos are preventing information from being shared between departments
  • Different teams have different understandings of the company goals or mission
  • Teams don’t feel heard or acknowledged by management
  • The lack of collaboration between departments is creating delays or inefficiencies in getting tasks done
  • Miscommunication is leading to misunderstandings, mistakes, or frustration
  • There’s a lack of trust between departments or teams

If your organization faces any of these issues, addressing them as soon as possible is important. Creating a culture of open and effective communication throughout the organization is essential. To achieve this, teams should be encouraged to share ideas and provide feedback to each other in an environment of trust and respect. Managers should also make sure that teams have access to the right resources and information to help them succeed. With better communication, organizations can avoid costly missteps and achieve greater success.

3. Insufficient Understanding of Company Goals or Vision

Having a clear vision and direction for your company is essential in order to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. Without a clear understanding of what the company wants to achieve, there can be a lot of confusion and a lack of direction. Employees may not understand why certain decisions are being made or why particular strategies are being implemented. This can lead to increased frustration and a feeling of being out of the loop. It can also make it difficult to measure progress against goals and objectives.

Therefore, having a well-defined vision statement that articulates the company’s desired outcome is essential in ensuring everyone is on the same page and achieving the desired results. This should be communicated throughout the organization in an easily understandable way so that employees understand how their actions contribute to the company’s overall success. Additionally, regular updates should be provided to ensure everyone remains aligned with the company’s goals and objectives.

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4. Inadequate or Unclear Direction for Meeting Those Goals

When companies lack a clear and effective strategy, defining the right direction to move forward is difficult. Without an appropriate plan of action in place, it can be difficult to determine which goals need to be pursued and how best to accomplish them. This can lead to a lack of focus on key objectives, ineffective use of resources, and inefficient decision-making.

In addition, if stakeholders are not properly informed of the company’s goals, they may not clearly understand their role or how their efforts will contribute towards the overall mission. This can cause confusion and frustration among employees, resulting in poor communication and less motivation to work towards those goals.

Finally, it can be hard to develop an accurate timeline for reaching objectives or measuring progress toward them without the right direction. This can leave stakeholders with an unclear idea of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how it can be done efficiently and effectively.

If your company is facing any of these issues, you will likely have a strategy problem. A successful strategy is the foundation upon which all other operational decisions are based, so it is important that you create a well-defined one that allows everyone involved to understand their role and objectives. Doing so will ensure that your organization is moving in the right direction and making the most out of its resources.

5. Excessive Decision-Making at The Highest Levels Without Regard to Other Stakeholders

Making decisions without considering the opinions and expertise of those closest to the issue can create problems. When decisions are made by a small group of people at the top levels of an organization, there can be an unconscious bias towards certain courses of action. This often ignores valuable insights and perspectives from other stakeholders who are on the front lines or have more specialized knowledge. Without their input, the decision-makers may lack a full picture of the implications and consequences of their choices, leading to poor outcomes. It’s important for organizations to consider all perspectives and create a system for collective decision-making that includes members from different departments or teams. Having multiple viewpoints helps ensure that the best possible outcome is reached.

6. Suboptimal Resource Allocation Resulting in Inefficient Operations

One of the most common signs that you may have a strategy problem is a lack of resources being allocated efficiently and effectively. Inefficient operations occur when resources are not used wisely or cost-effectively. This could be due to inadequate strategies, processes, or tools in place to manage resources. In addition, it could also be caused by poor planning and budgeting.

In order to identify whether your organization is suffering from suboptimal resource allocation resulting in inefficient operations, look for signs such as missed deadlines, bottlenecks in production, and failed projects. These can all be indicators that there is an issue with how resources are being allocated and used. Additionally, you may experience excessive waste, including overspending, duplicate efforts, and redundant tasks.

If your organization is facing any of these symptoms, it’s essential that you take action to address the root cause of the problem. An effective strategy should include a thorough review of current processes and operations in order to ensure that resources are being used in the most effective and efficient way possible. This could involve introducing new processes or tools or reallocating resources to different business areas. It could also mean implementing new budgeting methods or adjusting existing ones to ensure that resources are always being used as efficiently as possible.

By tackling the underlying cause of suboptimal resource allocation, you can help ensure your business runs as efficiently as possible and save time and money in the long run.

7. An Inability to Keep Up with Changes in Technology, The Competitive Landscape, Or Customer Needs

If your company is struggling to stay up to date with the latest technology, customer needs, and the competitive landscape, it could be a sign that your strategy is not effectively adapting to the changing environment. In today’s fast-paced business world, organizations need to be able to pivot quickly and respond to changes in their industry. Companies must keep a close eye on their competitors and customer trends in order to stay ahead of the game.

A lack of strategic planning and research can leave an organization stuck in the past, unable to move forward and take advantage of new opportunities. Companies that invest in market research, technology, and customer feedback will be more successful in staying current with industry changes and customer needs. A failure to recognize these changes could lead to customer dissatisfaction and a decrease in revenue.

It’s also important for companies to have strategies in place for dealing with emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning. Companies need to be able to assess how these new technologies can be used to improve customer experience and gain a competitive edge. Without strategies in place for keeping up with changes in technology, customer needs, and the competitive landscape, a company may find itself falling behind its rivals.

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8. Inability to Scale Due to Inadequate Strategies for Growth

Organizations that lack a scalable strategy risk becoming overwhelmed by growth. Without an effective strategy, a company may not be able to effectively handle the increased workload and financial requirements that come with scaling up.

As the organization grows, the strategy needs to evolve to remain effective. Otherwise, the company may become too large for its own good. Without a robust and well-thought-out strategy, a business may find itself unable to take full advantage of the opportunities that come with growth.

It’s important to develop strategies with scalability in mind to prevent this from happening. This should include tactics to help the organization grow in a way that doesn’t overextend its resources. Companies should also develop strategies for managing risks associated with scale, such as those related to customer experience, employee engagement, and financial stability.

By developing a well-thought-out strategy that accounts for scalability, companies can set themselves up for success. Doing so will help them make the most of their growth and ensure they remain competitive in the marketplace.

9. Lack of Market Differentiation and Competitive Edge

When businesses fail to differentiate themselves from their competitors in the market, they run the risk of being seen as interchangeable and not offering a unique value proposition. This can be a major problem for companies as it affects their ability to gain new customers, retain existing ones, and expand their reach. Companies that are unable to differentiate themselves in the market tend to have difficulty competing with their rivals and may experience a stagnation in growth.

Businesses can differentiate themselves by offering unique products or services, adopting a distinct pricing strategy, creating an appealing brand identity, or providing exceptional customer service. However, if a business fails to do any of these things, it will likely struggle to stand out among its competitors. Without differentiation, companies are stuck in an endless loop of price competition, and breaking out of that is nearly impossible.

Additionally, companies need to ensure that they’re continuously assessing their competitive landscape and adjusting their strategies accordingly. If they fail to do so, then they risk falling behind and losing their competitive edge. It’s important for businesses to identify their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and use that information to develop strategies that can help them remain competitive and relevant in the marketplace.

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10. Failing to Anticipate External Factors and Potential Risks That Could Impede Progress

One of the most important components of effective strategic planning is the ability to anticipate external factors and potential risks that could impede progress. Suppose a business fails to take into account external factors, such as changes in the market, new competitors, and shifts in consumer preferences. In that case, it can be challenging to stay competitive. In addition, failing to plan for potential risks can lead to significant losses or even the dissolution of the business.

Therefore, it is essential that businesses stay informed on the current state of their industry and any potential risks that may arise in the future. Companies should monitor economic, social, and technological trends and conduct regular risk assessments. Additionally, it is important to have contingency plans in place to help mitigate any risks or negative impacts that may occur. By staying ahead of external factors and potential risks, businesses can ensure that their strategies remain relevant and effective in an ever-changing landscape.


Having a good strategy is essential for any business to succeed. Unfortunately, there are many signs and symptoms that can indicate when a company has a strategy problem. From high staff turnover to a lack of market differentiation, it may be time to rethink your current strategy and look for ways to improve if you’re seeing any of these ten symptoms. Taking the time to identify and address any strategy problems can help ensure your Company’s long-term success.

Additional Resources

  1. Harvard Business Review: Why Strategies Fail: This article from Harvard Business Review offers an in-depth analysis of the common reasons behind strategy failures in businesses. It complements the identification of symptoms of a strategy problem by exploring why these issues arise and providing insights on avoiding common pitfalls in strategic planning.
  2. Forbes: The Importance of Clear Communication in the Workplace – Forbes discusses the crucial role that clear communication plays within an organization and its impact on business strategy and employee satisfaction. This article serves as an excellent complement by emphasizing the need for effective communication strategies to address one of the symptoms outlined in the original article.
  3. Business Administration (SBA) – Creating Your Business Strategy: The U.S. Small Business Administration provides an essential guide to conducting market research and competitive analysis, which are critical components of forming a business strategy. This resource is perfect for small business owners needing guidance on adjusting or understanding the broader context of their strategic planning within their specific market.

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