3 Ways to Create More Strategic Urgency

A businessman is relaxing in an open field complacent and showing no Strategic Urgency

Do You Need to Create Strategic Urgency?
Our high performance research identified complacency as one of the top five strategy execution warning signs.  Often, the most vulnerable time for an organization is when you are at the top of your game.  If you are looking to take your performance to the next level, you should consider creating some strategic urgency.

Why Strategic Urgency Matters
Leaders today cannot afford to get caught flat-footed or miss important market windows of opportunity.  While unchecked or unauthentic strategic urgency can certainly be counterproductive, well-placed strategic urgency is a vital component to amplifying the importance of the desired strategic shifts.   Most change experts believe that 75% of the people affected by change need to believe in both the importance and the urgency of the desired changes.

Where Strategic Urgency Starts
Strategic urgency starts with the leadership team.  While 75% buy-in may be enough for the employees affected by change, we look for 100% commitment from the top.  Leadership alignment is critical to ensure executives consistently reinforce the new direction so their teams remain dedicated to move toward the “new way.”

Three Ways to Create More Strategic Urgency
Breaking through complacency requires an active and honest dialogue across the organization until people understand and believe in the desired strategic direction enough to commit to trying to make them happen.

1. Challenge Your Business Model
Get your leaders together to think through the consequences of various scenarios that may be unlikely to happen but could greatly impact your strategy for success. Conduct a thorough examination of “what if” and “then.”  Consider challenging how you define and execute against areas such as your assumptions regarding:

  • Target clients
  • Target markets
  • Value proposition
  • Competitive advantages
  • Rate of scale
  • Leadership team
  • Talent management
  • Cultural norms
  • Competitive threats
  • Market shifts
  • Level of focus
  • Level of conviction

2. Check in with Dissatisfied Customers
Because almost every company is in the customer-experience business, one of the best ways to heighten strategic urgency is to shine a light on unhappy customers.   Though you can learn about strengths from satisfied customers, lost and unhappy customers often provide early warning signs of bad assumptions or hard times to come.

Your customers have their finger on the pulse of how you are living up to your strategic brand promise.  Use unvarnished feedback from your lost and dissatisfied customers to create urgency for change.

3. Scan Outliers
Often, the biggest strategic disruptions happen on the fringes. For example:

  • LinkedIn, a social media platform, is disrupting learning and recruiting
  • Tesla, a car company, is disrupting battery storage
  • Google, an internet search company, is disrupting mobile phones
  • NetFlix, a DVD company, is disrupting media content and delivery
  • Uber, a ride-sharing company, is disrupting food delivery

Is it possible that the greatest challenge to your business is not from close competitors but from maverick companies looking to disrupt your business model?  It sure seems that Amazon is on a path to disrupt most industries by itself.

Can potential threats from outliers, nearby or connected industries help provide the strategic urgency you need to mobilize the troops?

The Bottom Line
If you want to stay competitive, you cannot afford complacency even in the midst of good times.  Smart leaders continuously test their strategy and underlying assumptions with a mindset toward making strategic adjustments to sustain success.  If you want to create strategic urgency, remember leaders and their teams must believe that the status quo is not as appealing as the desired new direction or plan.

To learn more about creating strategic urgency, download How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders

Comments are closed.

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

Thoratec

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

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

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

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 recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

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

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

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

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

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

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