What Is Strategic Alignment?
Strategic alignment occurs when your business strategy is clearly articulated, fully understood, and consistently executed across your organization. The steps to create strategic alignment set you and your team up to be collectively firing on all cylinders. Strategic alignment is also a prerequisite for creating an aligned culture and a high performing workforce.
Strategic Alignment Accounts for 31% of the Difference
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic alignment accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies and teams. Highly aligned companies grow 58% faster and are 72% more profitable while outperforming unaligned companies at these rates:
Yet, IBM found that less than 10% of well formulated strategies are effectively executed and our own research finds that employees rate corporate strategies half as clear as their executive teams rate them.
4 Steps to Achieve Strategy Execution and Create Strategic Alignment
1. Get Leaders on the Same Page
The executive team is ultimately responsible for outlining clear and compelling choices about where to play and what actions to take. Done right, a successful strategic plan sets a company up to perform beyond just the sum of its parts. Before you can expect your teams to consistently execute the strategy across the company, your leadership team must collectively agree that the strategy is clear enough, believable enough and implementable enough to be success.
2. Actively Involve Next Level Leadership
To achieve true strategic alignment, next level leaders (those one level below the executive team) need to buy into and commit to the strategic direction. To achieve this, they must be actively involved in the strategy design process. After you get the executive team on the same page in step #1 above, we recommend getting honest and straightforward feedback from next level leaders regarding what they need clarified, added, changed, or deleted in order for the strategy to be clear enough, believable enough, and implementable enough to move forward in unison.
Then have a healthy discussion with next level leaders about the changes you did and did not incorporate into your strategic plan and the rationale behind your thinking. Do this until everyone is ready to march to the same game plan for success.
3. Show Line Managers and Individual Contributors How They Contribute to Success
Line managers and employees will be far more invested in the strategic plan for success if they understand where they fit in. From the cafeteria worker who knows that a healthy and appealing meal sends employees back to their jobs well-nourished to the accountant who understands that accurate and timely reporting accelerates decision making, each employee plays a part.
Make sure everyone understands the overall strategy and then help them to define their specific goals, roles, metrics for success and unique contribution. What will it take for your team to achieve its goals? What will provide a sense of meaning and pride in doing their job in an outstanding way? How should we recognize those who go above and beyond so others are motivated also to do their best?
4. Keep the Plan Front and Center
Your communication around the strategy should be clear, consistent, and ongoing. Every meeting should discuss strategic links, highlight progress, raise any issues, and solve emerging problems before they get too big to handle. The plan and progress should be visible to all employees, through emails, one-on-one discussions, company newsletters, social media, whatever means you have at your disposal. Be creative and be transparent.
The Bottom Line
Are you at risk of being among the 9 out of 10 organizations that fail to effectively execute their strategic plans? Create strategic alignment throughout your organization by involving your employees from the start and encouraging them all along the path to success.
To learn more about how to create strategic alignment, download Three Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy
4 Keys to Keeping Talent Up to Date
Why Employees Change Their Mind
I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.
HR Program Manager
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
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
LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!
Director of HR
The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
VP 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.
Director of HR
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
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.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide 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
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.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
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.
Senior Project Manager
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
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.
Director of Human Resources
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.
Human Resources Business Partner
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
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.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.