Two-Thirds of Corporate Executives Say Lack of Business Skills Inhibits Strategy Execution

  Two-Thirds of Corporate Executives Say Lack of Business Skills Inhibits
  Strategy Execution

Survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit and BTS Predicts Change in Business
                        Acumen Development Approaches

Business Wire

STAMFORD, Conn. -- March 14, 2013

BTS,  a world leading strategy implementation consulting firm, is pleased to
announce the release of a research report entitled Skills Mismatch: Business
Acumen and Strategy Execution. Based on a survey of over 300 senior corporate
leaders conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the report explores the
relationship between business acumen and strategy execution, the critical
skills required at various levels of leadership, and the trends in business
acumen development.

The research revealed that a vast majority of surveyed senior leaders believe
that a lack of business acumen inhibits their organization’s ability to
realize strategic goals. Challenged to develop critical business skills,
companies have traditionally focused on building skills on the job, but are
now turning to innovative, experiential learning methods that reduce risk and
accelerate results.

Key research findings include:

  *External skill shortages were considered to have a greater impact on
    execution than global competition, regulatory constraints, political
    uncertainty and technological changes.
  *Two-thirds of senior leaders agreed that a lack of business skills limits
    their organization’s ability to realize strategic goals to a strong
    extent. However, high-performing organizations, in terms of revenue
    growth, are less constrained by a skills gap than low-performing
  *Considered minimally effective by survey respondents, on-the-job
    experience, the common approach to developing business skills, is expected
    to decline by nearly 40 percent over the next five years. In comparison,
    learning and development initiatives designed to build business acumen are
    expected to grow 47 percent, based on a composite score.
  *Eleven percent of senior leaders say business simulations are used within
    their organization today, and 26 percent anticipate their use in 5 years’
    time— a 140 percent increase. Meanwhile, expert-led lectures are perceived
    as ineffective and are expected to decline by 32 percent.

“Leading companies recognize strategy execution as a critical challenge. This
study confirms that many organizations are constrained by a business acumen
skills gap,” said Rommin Adl, EVP BTS. “To bridge this gap, business
simulations and experiential learning are becoming increasingly widespread,
outpacing other formal learning approaches to business skill development. More
and more companies are taking notice and investing in this area because they
recognize that it is a powerful way to generate better results, faster.”

Based on a global survey designed and conducted by the Economist Intelligence
Unit, the research report incorporates responses from 336 corporate senior
leaders across a diverse range of geographies, 16 industries and 13 business

Download the full report.

About BTS Group

BTS is a world leading strategy implementation firm that accelerates execution
by building the alignment, mindset and capability needed to deliver superior
business impact. The company leverages customized business simulations and
experiential learning initiatives to help clients achieve better results,

For more information, please visit


Emma Rosen, 415-385-2843
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.