4 Big Ways Your Corporate Strategy Can Fail

How many times have you seen a new and exciting strategic plan be forgotten within a few quarters? How many times have you left a strategic retreat with optimism for great things to come only to find that the strategies never consistently cascaded throughout the organization? How many times have internal and external expectations been raised by inspiring new strategic directions only to be left in the planning stages due to a lack of commitment and follow-through?

When we work with executives to create clear, believable and implementable strategies, the strategy itself is rarely to blame for a lack of success. For the most part, the market research is rigorous enough and the strategic plans are sound enough. The failure lies in the process of execution.

Here are the top four reasons we have found that a strategic business plan falls short:

  1. Unclear objectives
    Even if you have near universal buy-in, a strategy can fail for lack of strategic clarity. The overall objectives may seem well articulated, but what about how it plays out across the company? All stakeholders need to know how, specifically, they will contribute to success and how that success will be measured. The plan needs detailed structure…it needs to be broken down into clear actions with a realistic timeline where progress can be monitored, adjusted and celebrated.
  2. Insufficient support and buy-in
    A successful strategy cannot be created in a vacuum with only a few senior executives. Instead, a believable and implementable strategic plan should come about as a result of multiple discussions and feedback from cross-functional representatives. Involve as many employees as you reasonably can to ask questions about how they view the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and what they think of the company’s vision, mission, values and optimizing strategies. How do they think success can best be realized? Make sure you have backing from the executive office to the workers on the line and that they are willing to commit the time, effort and resources needed to accomplish the plan.
  3. Lack of accountability
    Strategies are about both the important and the urgent. It is easy for people and companies to get bogged down in the day-to-day tactical and operational urgencies. Make sure that your strategy allows room for “running the business” AND executing the strategy. For most strategies and change initiatives you need to go slow to go fast. Hold regular (ideally weekly at first to create momentum and handle immediate obstacles) and cascading strategy meetings to create a cadence of transparency, accountability and learning. While collaboration and delegation is encouraged and often required, make sure that you have one executive team member accountable for making each strategy a success. Keep the overall team accountable for delivering on schedule and maintaining progress toward your key strategic promises. The strategy is your plan for success. Don’t lose momentum; stay on track.
  4. Inflexibility
    For most high companies, change is the name of the game. This is not to say that your strategy should shift with the tides. The direction should stay the same but there will most likely need to be some well-learned adjustments as you move forward. Tweaks should be made as needed to accommodate the real-time feedback from your employees, customers and competitors.

It’s pretty simple. Gain support, define action steps, stay focused and tweak as necessary. Follow these four tips for strategy success.

Comments are closed.

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

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

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

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

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP 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

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

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