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How biases, politics and egos trump good strategy

When creating a strategy for your organization there are many obstacles. It’s important to know what they are and how to get around them

Source | www.mckinsey.com | Chris Bradley

Peter Drucker famously said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Nowhere is that more evident than in meetings to decide corporate strategies. In those rooms, egos and competing agendas, biases and social games reign. That’s because strategy isn’t the only thing at stake. Jobs – even careers – are on the line.

How biases politics and egos derail business decisions

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The budget process intrudes, too. You may be discussing a five-year strategy, but everyone knows that what really matters is getting a “yes” to the first-year budget. The outcome of all these dynamics is the Hockey stick projection, confidently showing future success after a dip to account for first-year spending—a bold forecast that, more often than not, fails to materialize.

How biases politics and egos derail business decisions

We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com

A few years back, the former CEO of a major Las Vegas casino operator told my colleagues and me that he wished just once an executive would say to him, “Man, things are not well down here, and, to tell you the truth, I can’t tell which way is up. I really have no idea why things are heading south – but we are on it, rolling up our sleeves to turn this sucker around.”

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