Among the reasons Strategic plans fail are the following:
The plan was flawed and could not succeed however committed the enterprise.
The plan was perfect, but emerged from the corporate rain-dance from which those who should have implemented the plan were excluded.
The plan was good enough but circumstances changed and a committed and engaged management team stuck to the plan.
The plan was good enough but when circumstances changed the strategy was found to rest on a forecast that proved too inaccurate to recover the strategy.
How can an enterprise mitigate these risks?
Gather the experience, expertise, insights, prejudices, opinions etc of as many stakeholders as possible to understand where the enterprise is and how it arrived there.
Model the way the enterprise creates and extracts value and sustains its competitive advantage.
Construct plausible futures the enterprise may face and figure out the optimum route for it to travel from how the model suggests it will perform.
Ensure that the strategy states clearly the ways the enterprise’s means will be deployed to achieve the ends, expressed as SMART objectives.
Be vigilant towards differences between the future that arrives and the plausible futures to understand how the model indicates the enterprise may perform. This is the essence of strategic management.
Never separate thinking from doing: the strategists may be theorists in style and the operations directors may be activists and pragmatists in style, but the enterprise needs them to collaborate.
For more on developing a Compelling Strategy see Strategy Academy.