Do You Have Strategic Ambiguity?
If you are an executive, you may be surprised about the level of strategic ambiguity at your company. While it is difficult to succeed without a clear and meaningful strategic direction, 49% of executives recently surveyed by Booz & Company said their companies have no list of strategic priorities. Our organizational alignment research found that employees were 50 percent less clear about the organizational strategies than their bosses.
If you want to perform at your peak, what matters most to the success of your company should be crystal clear to all stakeholders.
What Makes Strategic Ambiguity?
Many high-growth executive teams are moving too quickly to create and clearly articulate a solid corporate strategy. Some say they don’t have the time; others think their strategy is already clear enough. And others just want to tell the troops what to do without actively involving them in the strategy design or planning processes.
Strategic Ambiguity Decreases Performance
Unfortunately strategic ambiguity not only hampers short-term performance but also long-term organizational health. Companies with clear strategies grow 72% faster, are more 58% profitable and report higher levels of employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
Strategic Clarity Accounts for 31% of the Difference Between High and Low Performing Organizations
Effective strategies provide crystal clear reasoning why the company does what it does and how specific actions should lead to superior performance. A rudderless company drifts with the wind. It does not:
The Attributes of Effective Strategic Goals
Based upon high performance research, we know that the overall corporate goals must be simple, meaningful, and just possible. In other words, your goals must be perceived as an achievable challenge that is worth fighting for. Then, the strategies to achieve those objectives must include a practical plan of action and be supported by a well-articulated rationale. Otherwise, you run the risk of having aspirations without a winning game plan.
Good vs. Bad Strategies
A good strategy guides the undertakings of the organization, provides rationales for resource allocation, and sharpens decision-making at every level. A bad strategy creates strategic ambiguity and opens the door to politics, bad choices, and lower performance.
Seven Warning Signs of Strategic Ambiguity
Here are seven warning signs of strategic ambiguity to help you understand if your strategy is clear enough to succeed. If you observe any of the following in your organization, it is time to increase your strategic clarity:
The Bottom Line
Creating a clear, compelling, and agreed-to strategy is the first step. Consistently executing across the organization is another step. To effectively move from strategy creation to strategy implementation, key an eye on these seven strategy warning signs.
To learn more about creating strategic clarity in your organization or team, please download 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy
4 Keys to Keeping Talent Up to Date
Why Employees Change Their Mind
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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.
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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.
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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 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 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.
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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
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
In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.
Firmware Engineering Supervisor
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
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
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