3 Reasons to Consider Broadening Your Strategy Team

Strategy Teams Should be Broad

When you want your business or team to perform at its peak, you need a clear, implementable and agreed-upon strategy.

Designing an effective business strategy, however, is no small order. Just ask the leaders who have tried and failed to put a strategy in place that actually works. We know from IBM research that less than 10% of even well-formulated strategies are executed effectively. We know from our own organizational alignment research that strategy accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.

There are so many things that derail your business strategy from taking you where you want to go. For example, if your organizational culture or talent management strategies are not aligned with your business strategy, your chances for successful strategy implementation are low. But first things first…

Let’s talk about strategic clarity. Clear strategies are understood, believable and implementable. We maintain that the strategy team should not be made up of just the few executives in the C-Suite. They may know what their company needs to do to thrive, but they often underestimate a necessary step—clearly translating big strategies into clear and aligned actions where the work gets done in the trenches.

One way to keep the strategy “real” is to broaden the strategy creation team. We believe that the most effective strategic planning teams are comprised of a broad group of stakeholders. While you still need central leadership to ensure the process moves along according to predetermined timelines and to facilitate all moving parts so they work in concert, your strategy will be stronger with a broader base of support at the start.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. You gain a broader perspective so you can take advantage of opportunities and reduce the risk of failure.
    With strategists working from all angles, you have a multi-faceted team who can spot new opportunities and be on the watch for whatever might threaten your success…especially if you include representatives from different levels and functions across the company and beyond (select customers and suppliers). They can help alert you to new competition and unexpected customer challenges that could undermine your plan.
  2. You avoid a kind of “groupthink” whereby decisions are made in a way that discourages creativity.
    With people on your strategy team from different geographies, backgrounds and generations, you can take advantage of the richness of ideas that come with diversity. Your strategy is built in a way that capitalizes on a variety of suggestions, approaches and techniques. No stone is left unturned and unexamined for its value.
  3. You engage stakeholders in your strategy more completely because of their involvement from the beginning.
    With “buy-in” and support from your broad strategic team, you have ready advocates for the plan throughout the company and team leaders who understand what it will take for the strategic plan to be realized. Implementation will be far smoother with broad company representation at the start.

Then your challenge becomes implementation. But that’s a whole other story…

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