How to Achieve Strategic Clarity for Your Organization

How can your organization get where it wants to go if it does not have a clear strategy for the path ahead? Less than 10% of even well formulated strategies are effectively executed. Part of the problem is that the plan, though typically understood by the executives who crafted it, is not understood or accepted by those who must carry it out.

Though most executives agree that a sound strategic plan is imperative, many disagree on how to implement it throughout the organization. And yet, strategic clarity accounts for 31% of difference between high and low organizational performance. If you want to perform, you need your strategy to be clear, believable and implementable across the organization.

Over the last two decades of helping clients achieve strategic success, we have devised a four-step approach to ensure you get to where you want to go.

  1. Definition
    You need to clearly define and prioritize a set of strategic objectives so you have a framework for setting future direction and making decisions. Set out the objectives that you know will make the most difference to your organization in your marketplace. Build these goals around your core values and unique opportunities. What will most drive your company’s success? Growth targets? Performance goals? Rate of return?
  2. Communication
    Once defined, it is critical that you socialize the strategy with both your employees and your external stakeholders. With vague or confusing strategy communication, you risk lack of buy-in and alignment. The strategy must be easily understood and then accepted by employees as well as investors. Change is difficult. No matter what the path ahead, there will most likely need to be changes in systems, processes and behaviors. Make sure all your stakeholders “get” the “why” of the change and believe that their best interests will ultimately be served by the effort required. Communication of the strategy must be two-way. While clear, direct and ongoing communications are a must, the real value lies in ongoing discussions, feedback and adjustments.
  3. Implementation
    When the strategy is believed to be achievable and fully supported by executives and the workforce, implementation can begin. Pave the way with appropriate changes in resource allocation, organization practices and performance incentives. To succeed with strategy execution, the entire organization needs to be aligned around the plan. The vision of change needs to be translated into specific courses of action with goals, timing and outcomes clearly established.  Managers need to be held accountable for their piece of the action and progress must be tracked as implementation proceeds.
  4. Flexibility
    No strategy or change initiative is without bumps along the road. When there is a glitch, organizations must be able to respond to changes in the business environment, whether internal or external. In fact, market responsiveness and change agility are two of the top five factors that differentiate high from low performing leadership teams. The need for strategic clarity must be weighed against the need to course correct when unexpected factors arise. The key is to constantly evaluate and adapt organizational skills and capabilities to be sure they align with strategic intent.

Remember, strategic ambiguity is the enemy of effective strategy execution. Clearly define and communicate the strategy; effectively execute against the plan; and thoughtfully adapt to changes along the way. This is how your business strategy can succeed.

To learn more about strategic clarity and execution, download 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy.

 

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We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

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I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

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LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

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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.

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LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

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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.

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Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

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