3 Steps to Better Cascade Your Corporate Strategy

A waterfall illustrates how you can cascade your corporate strategy

How to Better Cascade Your Corporate Strategy
In nature a cascade is a small, steep waterfall that flows in a descending manner from the top to the bottom, from high to low. In business we use the verb “cascading” when we talk about communicating and embedding a corporate strategy throughout the organization.

Effective Strategy Cascading Creates Alignment, Accountability and Meaning
This communication and implementation process occurs in a series of reactions in which one causes another…in which every division, department and individual are aligned around the overall strategic plan and the important part they play in making it a success. One move flows into another…but not always in a top-down direction.

Strategic Clarity Starts at the Top
Our organizational alignment research found strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies.  Only once your business strategy has been clearly articulated to your satisfaction as a leadership team should you communicate it to your workforce and begin the hard work of strategy cascading and execution. You need to be satisfied that the strategy you’ve created is both crystal clear and aligned across six areas:

  • Strategic Drivers: Mission (fundamental purpose), Vision (what you hope to become) and Values (core beliefs)
  • Target Clients: Who you serve best and where you should consistently win 75%+ of the time
  • Differentiation: What sets you apart from the competition in the eyes of your target clients
  • Optimizing Strategies: The top four priorities for gaining the most strategic leverage
  • Key Goals: The critical few actions to achieve those optimizing strategies in the next twelve months
  • Success Metrics: How you will measure success and failure

Cascading Your Strategy
Once your strategy is clear, believable and implementable enough at the executive team level, you can begin the process of cascading the strategic plan so that it can be successfully executed.

3 Steps to Better Cascade Your Corporate Strategy
Here are three tips on how to better cascade your corporate strategy from the board room to those employees whose day-to-day work will be informed by that strategy.

1.  Don’t Assume Top-down “Telling” is the Way to Go
Don’t make the mistake of creating a strategy in an ivory tower with the idea that if you “tell them what to do” it will get done effectively. That typically works only in highly structured, traditional, hierarchical organizations. In flatter organizations, you need the active involvement, input and buy-in from managers and employees for the overall strategy to work.

Be clear on the portion of the strategy that is mandated, guided or autonomous at the overall, department, team and individual levels so people know where they are empowered to make it their own.

2.  Execute from the Bottom-up
Though you may build your strategy in a small group of cross-functional leaders, it is often best to execute a strategy from the bottom up. Leaders should give managers the opportunity and authority to develop meaningful and relevant goals as long as they align with the overall priorities of the business.

Managers should include their team members in figuring out how to best implement the strategy. Each department can take your finished strategy and decide how to align and accomplish it in their own unique ways.

As a rule of thumb, be prepared to spend twice as much time cascading your strategy for each level away from the executive team.  For example, if you spent one month prepping and two days creating your corporate strategy with your executive team, be prepared to spend two months prepping and four days with your direct reports to get the required level of alignment, conviction and commitment.

3.  Monitor and Measure Progress for Accountability
To be certain that you are moving in the right direction and that employees and their managers are implementing the strategy as planned, establish a system of regular and transparent metrics against goals. Establish consequences for poor performance, adjust goals as necessary, celebrate progress, and reward success. Only if you hold everyone accountable for delivery against the plan will you be able to achieve it.

The Bottom Line
Well executed strategies start with strategic clarity at the top and are supported by heavily investing in cascading strategies, goals, metrics and accountability across the company. Your strategy must go through your people and your culture to get fully implemented – so invest the time it takes to cascade it effectively.

To learn if you are ready to cascade your corporate strategy across your organization, download 7 Strategic Clarity Warning Signs to Pay Attention To

Comments are closed.

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 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

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

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

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

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

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.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

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

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

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.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

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