4 Strategy Questions to Stay On Track to Succeed

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The Right Strategy Questions to Stay On Track
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity – your ability to answer the right strategic questions – accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams.  We define strategic clarity as your ability to make sure that your strategic plans for success are understood, winnable, and consistently implemented across the organization.  That means monitoring progress and constantly asking questions to test its viability and effectiveness.

4 Strategy Questions to Stay On Track to Succeed
To keep your business strategy on track, You need to consistently ask:

  1. Who Is Our Most Important “Customer”?
    This question can be answered in a variety of ways. Some companies allocate their resources to satisfy their shareholders first and foremost; others consider their employees or their consumers as their primary customer. There is no “right” answer.

    Your choice of your most important customer should be based on what makes the most sense for your business as you consider company core competencies, the goals of the leaders, and where you think you can be most successful. The premise is that you cannot realistically focus on and invest equally in all potential stakeholders from a strategic and cultural perspective.

    Amazon, for instance, has selected their consumers as their primary customer and focuses all of its energies and most of its resources on putting the needs and wants of the consumer first.  Southwest is known for putting their employees first.

    What makes sense for your company?

  2. Are We Tracking the Right Performance Data?
    There are many different ways to measure performance. Will you know more by measuring more? You might, but what would you do with that knowledge?

    The important factor here is that you focus on the critical few metrics that matter most and that will lead you to effective action. Your performance scorecard should track only the leading and lagging success metrics that let you know if your strategy is failing or succeeding.

    Whether it is employee engagement, financial strength, customer satisfaction or product quality, the key measures should be aligned with your vision, mission, values and strategic imperatives.

    Consider your focus and prioritize your performance tracking so you can respond with real-time decisions and targeted actions.

  3. Are You Creating the Right Amount of Performance Pressure?
    Cascaded correctly, the vast majority of your workforce should be behind your strategy. It is up to you to create the right amount of performance pressure to engage, focus and inspire your team.

    Keep measuring strategic progress, ensure the agreed-upon milestones are visible to all, and don’t buffer your employees from the realities of the business.

    A little creative tension combined with fair and accurate success metrics, a clear and compelling vision, and relevant and meaningful goals will spur new effort, commitment, and innovation.

  4. Are Employees Working Toward Strategic Goals Collaboratively Enough?
    High levels of collaboration and employee engagement are strong indicators of an effective business strategy with an aligned organizational culture. When workers have a sense of pride and ownership in the company direction, they buy in to its success. When they feel the entire team is pulling in the same direction, they identify with the organization and are proud of their contribution.

    When employees are treated fairly, they are more apt to help their team mates and go the extra mile. When teams trust their leaders and their coworkers to perform at the best of their ability, they have a sense of overarching purpose.

The Bottom Line
Once you put the time and energy into creating a clear and compelling business strategy, don’t let it fall short for a lack of testing and questioning of its effectiveness all along the way.

To learn more about the right strategy questions to ask, download 7 Proven Ways to Stress Test Your Strategy

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