Strategies that do not get implemented are frustrating for leaders and their stakeholders. To move forward, you need a clear, believable and implementable plan to get from where you are to where you want to be. It must be meaningful; challenging but achievable and worthwhile; and clear and simple enough to communicate effectively across the organization.
The way to achieve the goals of a well-crafted business strategy is to break it down into measurable objectives. Sounds easy…but this is where so many leadership teams fall short. They don’t know how to craft good strategic objectives. Without them, there is no true guide to follow and no way to assign enough accountability.
1. First you need to agree upon where you are. Do you have a common understanding of what “Point A” represents? What is the current situation? What are the key complications that the company faces? How would you describe the critical few implications of not successfully executing your strategic vision?
2. Then you need to agree upon where you are going. What does “Point B” represent? Are you hoping to enter a new market to diversify your offerings? Grow your revenues by 20% and your margins by 15%? More fully engage your workforce to decrease attrition? Whatever your ultimate goal, a successful strategy sets up your organization to succeed; it helps you perform beyond the sum of its parts.
3. Lastly, you need to break up the overall strategy into concise objectives that align with and drive toward each strategic goal. Strategic objectives should be specific, have one clear owner, a specific date for completion and be measurable. The best strategic objectives are communicated in a single sentence that begin with a verb, include an object, a measurable unit and timeline. Recent client examples include:
• Increase our executive sales team by two members in the next six months.
• Improve employee engagement from 76.5 to 82.3 in twelve months.
• Decrease attrition of A Players by 50% in six months.
• Hire and onboard 250 new employees in the next 18 months.
• Grow our top 5 accounts by 18% by Q4.
• Improve average client satisfaction ratings by 3% by the next quarter.
From an approach perspective:
• Just make sure you don’t create too many strategic objectives. In our work over the last twenty years in helping clients craft workable strategic objectives, we have found that between 2 and 4 is the ideal number. You can focus on the few critical moves that will make a difference. Too many and your efforts will be spread too thin and meaningful success is unlikely.
• Design the strategic objectives as a team. When you co-create the strategies with your key stakeholders, you engage them in the process and gain their commitment to succeed. This is not the time to work in an ivory tower. Involve the team and they will feel ownership for the outcome. And with their work on the front end, it will be easier to delegate some of the responsibility for results.
• Have one owner accountable for each objective. Unless you do, little will get done. It is human nature to work on tasks that have one’s name attached to them. Though you as leader will be held accountable for the entire project, you should assign responsibility for the implementation of each objective. Do not have “two in a box.” While multiple people will most likely be responsible for completing the task, only have one executive team member accountable for the final results.
• Create an effective exposure mechanism. There should be regular meetings to monitor, report on and assess progress. Be as transparent with the organization-at-large as you can. Every single employee should have a clear understanding of the company’s strategy and where you stand in achieving it.
With clear, believable and implementable strategic objectives, you will know where to play and what actions to take. This is how a company strategy comes to life.
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.
VP Human Resources
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
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.
Firmware Engineering Supervisor
For past year LSA has provided development to a group of key individuals at our manufacturing plant who author and review technical reports. The feedback from the sessions has been extremely positive. We have seen marked improvement in the quality of output from the attendees who have taken the program. I can strongly recommend the services that LSA provides. Their facilitators are top notch and the programs are high quality. LSA offers some of the most comprehensive full service solutions available.
Leading Global Health Care Company
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
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.
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!”
Vice President Human Resources
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
LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
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.
Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.
SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO
Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.
Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager
We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.
Director of Global Recruiting
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
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