9 Symptoms of an Unclear Corporate Strategy

Unclear Corporate Strategy A man stands on a clear yellow line above a confusing mix of white paths going nowhere

Is an Unclear Corporate Strategy Holding You Back?
Strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of revenue growth, profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.  If you don’t know where you want to go, how on earth can you get there?  Do not let an unclear corporate strategy hold you back.

Why Strategic Clarity So Difficult
Employees continuously report to us that they find their company’s strategy half as clear as their executive team.  It’s astounding how many leaders deploy critical and limited resources and have high expectations from their organizations without everyone being on the same page.

Strategy implementation takes effort.  For a strategy to be successfully cascaded across a company, each and every employee must truly understand their role, their contribution and the roles of those around them in achieving the critical few things that matter most.

9 Symptoms of an Unclear Corporate Strategy
It is also surprising to us that so many organizations miss the strategic ambiguity clues that could warn them that they are off track.  Take a quick look at this list of unclear corporate strategy symptoms and see if your business plan for success is at risk:

1.  Not Enough Stakeholders Believe the Strategy is Implementable
If employees don’t believe the strategic initiatives will actually be implemented in the current organizational culture, you have a problem. This often shows up when plans that have been hashed out in meetings inconsistently get executed. This is often a sign of a lack of strong leadership and a lack of accountability down the line.

Beware if less than 75% of the population believes that the strategy is clear, believable and implementable enough to fully commit.

2.  Substandard Performers Are Kept on Beyond a Reasonable Time to Help Them Improve
While the consequences of allowing under-performers to remain on the team for too long may sound like a cultural warning sign, it is also a sign that strategic goals and their related performance standards may be unclear.  Low performers slow strategic progress and demotivate those around them to reach for higher performance.

A low performance bar affects everyone.  Beware if low performers remain on the team for too long without improving.

3.  The Company Fails to Hit Important Strategic Targets on a Regular Basis
Something is seriously wrong if important milestones are routinely missed. Either the goals were not realistic, they were miscommunicated or there were no clear consequences for failure to reach them.

Beware if strategic targets routinely slip without significant reflection and continuous improvement by the leadership team.

4.  Goals, Roles and Success Metrics are Unclear or Conflicting
If employees are uncertain about what, specifically, they are responsible for accomplishing and where they fit in the overall plan, strategic progress, performance and employee engagement can suffer. Do not let employees be confused about their job and their role in the context of your strategic imperatives.

Beware if people do not know how their success is measured, how their contribution fits in and what they can count on from others.

5.  Time is Wasted
Most employees are busy but not always focused on the critical few strategic activities that are in their control and that matter most. They fill out reports that go unused and attend meetings that lack clear agendas or result in meaningful actions.  They over-think decisions and spend time hunting down information that should have been shared, etc.

Beware if the majority of time is spent on executing non-strategic priorities.

6.  A Lack of Customer Focus
If you notice that products and services are being enhanced with extras that do not directly benefit target customers, you are draining profits and confusing your value proposition. If the definition of your ideal target customer is fuzzy or not agreed to by all key stakeholders, slow down and focus on what sets you apart and where you should win the majority of the time.

Beware if your target customers and what they value most are not at the heart of what you are doing.

7.  Decision Making is Not Aligned
Good strategies make it easy to make good decisions.  If decisions, resource allocations and initiatives are being driven by the quick, the easy, the political or the way it’s always been done, your strategy is probably not powerful enough to set the right course.

Beware of a strategic indecisiveness and inconsistency.

8.  Organizational Health and Employee Engagement is Suffering
If employees seem over-worked and under-satisfied, the health of your company may not be strong enough to support the strategic changes you desire. To give the discretionary effort required, employees need to trust leadership, have a good work-life balance and see career development opportunities down the road.

Beware if employee morale, discretionary effort or retention falters.

9.  Minimal Accountability and Increased Finger Pointing
If “passing the buck” is rampant throughout your organization, take a look at your level of strategic clarity before you invest in team building or executive coaching. When people are unwilling to take responsibility for missteps, the goals. roles and success metrics are usually askew.

Beware of strategic ambiguity in terms of responsibility, accountability and performance metrics.

The Bottom Line
If any of these traits sound familiar, your organization is most likely suffering from an unclear corporate strategy. The time spent correcting the above problems will serve you well. It is far easier to operate successfully when everyone understands where the company is going and how it is going to get there.

To learn more about avoiding an unclear corporate strategy, download How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders – The Elite 6%

Comments are closed.

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

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

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

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

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

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

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 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.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

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

I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.

Maya Paul
HR Director

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

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