3 Must Know Factors that Foil Strategy Execution

A man tries to cross a chasm by putting a board across to join 2 sides of the road

Even the most carefully conceived business strategies often fail in the execution stage. Between designing the strategic plan for success and reaching the goal with the entire organization there is often a breakdown. From our twenty-plus years of experience of strategic clarity facilitation, the broken implementation path can often be due to three basic factors:

  1. Lack of strategic clarity
    This occurs when the business strategy is not clearly translated from the board room to the front line. The objective was too vague or not put into the kinds of specific words or actions that could be understood and implemented. Strategic clarity occurs when the strategic direction and the accompanying plan are understood, believed in and implementable in your unique organizational culture. Strategic clarity must occur at each and every level of the company for people to put their hearts and minds behind it.
  2. Lack of strategic flexibility
    Strategies need to account for the constant and inevitable change that is the condition of business today. Successful business strategies need to allow for necessary internal and external feedback and related course corrections. Leadership teams need to be able to adapt to everything from shifts in the marketplace to an over-insistence on “staying the course.”
  3. Lack of leadership and workforce preparation
    To sustain a major strategic change or initiative, leaders must be committed to the strategic goals long-term. They also need to ensure that the right talent is in place and that the organization’s culture aligns with the new direction. There must be clear alignment on three fronts: strategy, culture and talent.

Whatever your strategic direction, try to inoculate yourself against all that can go awry by including in your strategy a cure for what might go wrong. Key employees can leave, customers can shift their preferences, new laws may go into effect, or the competition can disrupt your market.

One way to protect against strategic failure is to adopt an updated approach to strategy implementation. Rather than follow the more traditional waterfall method of building your strategic plan according to a strict project management model, try a more agile and progressive plan of action…one that does not necessarily push you into the straight-line thinking of simply bridging the gap of the above broken road in the picture, but one that encourages iterative and forward thinking that can get you to the same destination via a potentially more innovative and flexible route.

The traditional strategy approach can certainly work in situations where the objective, goal, scope, or situation is relatively simple. But when the strategy’s success involves a need for the organization to adapt to unexpected circumstances and learn along the way, an approach that takes into account bodies in motion will be far more successful.

Here are the three shifts in focus for a more flexible and successful approach to strategy implementation:

  1. Strategic clarity explicitly defined by the leadership
    Leaders need to be able to translate their vision in a way that provides their “implementers” with clear guidelines toward the goal. They should leave “how” to get there to the implementation teams but give them the overall strategic direction and reasoning while still leaving enough room for the teams to improvise their own solutions.
  2. Empower implementation teams to adapt as needed
    Choose team leaders who can operate effectively as strategists, problem solvers and people collaborators. They should not work strictly toward milestones but rather toward outcomes. They will need to know how (and be empowered) to make course corrections along the way.
  3. Act as true leaders
    Look ahead at what will be needed for true change. Will you need to build new capabilities in the workforce? Adjust the existing corporate culture to better support and align with the new strategy? Or change systems and practices to get where you want to go in a way that makes sense? You need to keep your eye on the goal and continue to inspire your troops to reach it.

Take free strategic clarity assessment

Download Strategic Clarity Whitepaper

Download free leadership toolkit

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.

Maya Paul
HR Director

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More