3 mins read

The last of the five elements of organizational renewal is superiority. Superiority is the capability of the organization to excel on the idea.

Sometimes, ideas are great and new, close to your current identity and capabilities, and clear to all, but still the organization lacks the capacity to bring the idea forward. Everyone is excited, but after a little bit of initial drive, the initiative fades away by the urgent necessities of the daily circumstances.

Sounds familiar? You are in good party. According to a survey of 500 senior executives of large companies only in 10% of all cases strategic goals are fully achieved *). The number matches the success rate of M&A activities, or start-up survival rates. It also matched the success rates of new product launches in the consumer space **). To improve your chances, ask a few questions.

How can you judge that the odds are with you?

1: Ask yourself, if the idea is big enough, that the board members will personally play a role in the initiative?

According to a report, the odds are much better, if there is a personal commitment of the board or CEO ***). It demonstrates the continued excitement and interest of the top management in this topic, so a backlash is less likely. Think about the active role Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezoz have played when it came to strategic moves.

2: Ask yourself, if the team is dedicated to the topic?

If people are on the initiative for only a small fraction of their time, than it is clear, that they will not be able to have enough focus on the initiative.

3: Ask yourself, if you have the right resources on the team?

Having people with the right mix of backgrounds but also personality, aptitude and network will help a lot.

4: Ask yourself, if you have all processes in place for bringing the idea forward?

With the needed processes in place (in house or external) you jump over the hurdles along the way with ease.

5: Ask yourself, if the dedicated team can test and implement the idea without adding friction to the existing organization?

If there is friction in the existing organization in form of overload or unclear priorities due to the new initiative, the new idea will not succeed. Upfront business alignment will avoid this situation.

6: Ask yourself, if the team can pursue on the new idea without colliding with old initiatives?

Confusion arises, if old ideas and initiatives are still running. People are confused on what to do with the old initiative in face of the new.

7: Ask yourself, if the team is geared up to a steep learning curve?

It is in the very nature, that learning is part of the journey. Will the team reflect on their capabilities, their personal learning but also learning of the team, the team play? What are the data sources on which they will base their decisions? Will they ask enough questions?

8: Ask yourself, if all team members have deeply envisioned the success of the idea, their role in the team, the nature of team collaboration?

As professional athletes are envisioning their performance, their success in preparation of a contest you can also have the team members take time for envisioning the drive. This will mentally set them up and improve resilience.

Having now introduced the five elements of organizational renewal – identity, reality, creativity, clarity and superiority – you will receive a handy tool for applying the elements in your environment with the next post. Stay tuned and subscribe to the newsletter!

*) Economist Intelligence Unit 2017


***) Holweg, Matthias and Staats, Bradley R. and Upton, David M., Making Process Improvements Stick (August 28, 2018). Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Research Paper No. 18-22. Available at SSRN: or


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