To Simplify Your Strategy You Must Make Tough Choices
Imagine being tasked with finding a specific book in the overwhelming mess above? Wouldn’t it be great to open the door into a clear and organized room that only contained the most important and most relevant books that you need? The same is true when you put together a corporate strategy. To simplify your strategy you must focus and make tough choices.
If your core strategic priorities are too numerous (i.e. greater than three or four) or too complicated (i.e. cannot be said in 12 words or less), you are unlikely to create enough understanding, believability or commitment to successfully execute the plan.
Strategic Complexity Creates Strategic Failure
IBM found that less than 10% of even well formulated strategies are effectively executed. We find that employees rate their company’s strategy as 50% less clear than their executive team. And sadly, the majority of executive teams that we measure report low levels of strategic alignment within their own ranks.
To simplify your strategy you must focus and keep things simple enough so that your direction, priorities and plan is clear enough, believable enough and implementable enough for all key stakeholders, not just those in the executive suite that drafted it. If you try to cover too many objectives at once or if you cannot simply state what matters most in a few clear words, you will lose focus and confuse those who you need to carry out your plans.
Three Key Warning Signs that You Need to Simplify Your Strategy
Here are the top three red flags that your strategy is not simple enough to succeed:
How to Simplify Your Strategy to Close the Gap
When you want to close the gap that exists in 9 out of 10 companies between strategy design and strategy execution, you need to avoid complex schemes and follow a few simple rules for strategy.
1. Be Ruthlessly Selective
Strategy is about making difficult choices about what matters most. Narrow down your major optimizing strategies to the vital three or four that will truly make a difference. Then prioritize the critical few goals and actions within each to reduce alternatives, increase focus and decrease confusion.
2. Make It Implementable in Your Culture
Don’t try to put a “square peg strategy” through your “round hole culture.” Analyze the history of the organization to determine what has worked and what has not worked in the past. This is not the time to rely on wild guesses but on quantifiable cultural assessments and objective observations. Do not underestimate your culture—strategies must go through culture and people to get successfully implemented.
3. Actively Put Managers and Their Teams in Charge
When the implementers are actively involved and put in charge of planning not only how to achieve the goals but also what goals make sense for their teams, you add real-world experience and buy-in. Much can be learned from those who have to “do the work.” Empower manages and their teams to tweak and evolve the path to achieve your goals.
4. State Specific Goals Simply
Once you have identified the priorities that matter, articulate goals in a way that can be easily understood by everyone. Summiting Mount Everest is a clear goal. Getting $150m in new revenue is a clear goal. You know clarity when you see it. If you can explain it to someone outside of your company and they understand it immediately, you are on the right track.
The Bottom Line
To simplify your strategy you must focus and make tough choices. Not all things are of equal importance or value. The better you can simplify your strategic priorities, the clearer your work force will be about how to make it happen.
To learn more about how to simplify strategy, download 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy
How to Sell Value versus Price
7 Threats to a Positive Company Culture
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.
Director of Human Resources
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
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
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
Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.
Workforce Planning Bureau
Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.
Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
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
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.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
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
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.
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.
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.
I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.
VP of Human Resources
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
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
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.