Ninety-nine percent of business leaders of the most successful companies believe their organizations are ready to quickly adapt to change, and this is what sets them apart from the rest of their industry.

This is according to a study from work management solution provider Planview: “The State of Strategy Execution: Embracing Uncertainty to Adapt at Speed,” which surveyed 1000 global business professionals. 

The report broke down companies into three categories: the Laggards who are slower to respond to change, the Challengers who move forward in starts and stops, and the Leaders who are the fastest organizations.   

According to the report, Leaders are three times as likely than Challenges to exceed financial targets, three times as likely to exceed strategic objectives, and two times as likely to exceed delivery of innovative products and services. 

In order to see the benefits that these Leaders are experiencing, companies will need to adopt some of the same strategies. According to the report, there are five practices that most Leaders are following that any company can adopt: 

  1. Prioritize speed in decision making
  2. Implement technology that delivers faster insights from data
  3. Utilize short-interval planning cycles for strategies, funding, and operating plans
  4. Improve the prioritization process to align resources with the most important work
  5. Utilize Lean and Agile practices

“Reducing the gap between strategy and execution becomes even more important as the pace of external disruption increases, and this report provides a clear blueprint about how leading companies are doing exactly that,” said Patrick Tickle, chief product officer at Planview. “We found that the most successful companies are following a similar recipe for success. They are building speed into their business operations to adjust to constant change. They have shorter, more adaptable planning cycles that enable them to respond to shifts in real-time. They remove internal barriers that stand in the way of adaptability. They resist the lure of the status quo. And they use technology and agile processes to build speed and quality into the way they execute on strategy.”

According to Planview, the Leaders are also continuing to invest in improving speed. The three most tangible benefits of accelerating their response to change include improved customer satisfaction; employee satisfaction, retention, and recruiting; and execution efficiency and repeatability. 

The biggest negatives of not being able to adapt to change include decline in growth (43%), lost opportunities to competitors (43%), decreased customer retention (38%), and major loss of profit (38%).