Strategic Clarity Requires Strategic Focus

keep an eye on the strategic focus

Strategic focus can make or break a company when the stakes are high.

Settle or stretch…that may be the dilemma you face as you begin the critical strategic planning process. And your business results and the buy-in of your people will most likely depend upon the choice you make.

Is your business strategy planning process similar to the way most organizations run theirs? If so, you probably dread the annual sessions which are often tedious, always difficult, and too often result in plans that never get fully implemented. Only one-third of executives we speak with report that their strategy sessions produce what they should: plans that are (1) clear, (2) implementable and (3) compelling.

Our experience of over twenty years in helping our clients achieve strategies that are crystal clear has shown over and over again that it is not just short-term performance that suffers for lack of clarity but also long-term organizational health. In fact our organizational research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies. Reason enough to ensure that your strategy articulates why the company does what it does and how specific actions should lead to superior performance. Then there is no leeway for the inevitable choices, priorities and trade-offs to become blurred for employees.

Here are some tips on how to win at the business planning game as you keep your eye on the prize of overall, sustainable, healthy business growth by having a strategic focus:

  • Don’t be shy
    While you need to be somewhat realistic in your ambitions, step up to the challenge of stretch goals. Remember, you are looking to the future, not just maintaining the same old plan. If growth is the goal, be bold. Don’t begin with your budget. Go for the big picture dream and then adapt your budget and business planning to accommodate.
  • Don’t create the strategic plan in a bubble
    As leaders, you are responsible for a high-level strategy but make sure it is based on front-line input. Your customers and those employees who interact with them should help define the priorities of your winning strategy.
  • Don’t wait for year’s end
    Changes in the market don’t follow the calendar. If you are to create a strategy that works, you need to create a plan that can adapt to marketplace changes. Let business needs, not the time of year, dictate the timing of your strategy discussions. For best results, they should be ongoing. “One-and-done” thinking has no place in a high performance environment where decisions are based on up-to-date situations with a steady view of the future.
  • Don’t be constrained by last year’s plan
    Too many organizations simply increase resource allocations across the board. Instead you should put your money where it will have the greatest impact according to the current and future priorities, not the past. The strategy and resource allocation process need not be “fair.” Rather, it should be ruthlessly based on the priorities that you have set for the coming year and beyond.
  • Don’t hold the reins too tight
    Empower your senior managers to make timely decisions according to the strategy that is well understood and accepted across the board. If you add too many bureaucratic layers to the decision making process, the focus on timely decisions that serve customers better can be lost.

Does your strategic planning process empower your entire company to define clear priorities, think boldly and drive forward with a ruthless focus toward high performance?

To learn more about creating strategic focus across an organization, please download 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy

 

Comments are closed.

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

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from “training” organizations. LSA gives you the assistance you need to define and reach your goal, and then they give you a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

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

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

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

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

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

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

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

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

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

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

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