The Underappreciated Role of Middle Managers in Strategy Implementation

Role of Middle Managers in Strategy Implementation

The role of middle managers in strategy implementation can make or break your strategic initiatives.

Strategy Implementation Success
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity, believability and implementability account for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams and organizations.  That means getting all key stakeholders (not just the executive team) on board with where you are headed, why your strategic direction makes sense and how you plan to get there – especially middle managers.

A Woeful Record
What we hear over and over again from leaders is that their finely crafted strategic plan is not being implemented at the quality or speed that they expect to produce the results they need.  Here is the woeful record of strategy implementation according to the research:

  • IBM found that less than 10% of well formulated strategies are effectively executed.
  • 49% of leaders surveyed by Booz & Company said their companies had no strategic priorities.
  • Employees we survey perceive that the organizational strategy is 50% less clear than their leaders believe.

Strategies Must Go Through People and Culture
For a corporate strategy to make a real and positive difference, it must be properly executed.  To be properly executed, it must go through your people and your culture.  Certainly executives bear the ultimate responsibility for success, but they cannot implement plans on their own.  They need the active support of middle management.

Why Middle Managers Are So Important
For successful implementation, executives need to depend on their employees.  And the best interface between executives and their employees is middle management.  The more effectively you can engage middle managers, communicate the plan clearly, ensure their understanding and get their full-fledged buy-in, the more certain your successful strategy execution.

Bharat Anand, Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School maintains that “middle managers are central to execution of strategy.”  Indeed, in a survey of over 500 business leaders, over 60% responded that lack of engagement of middle managers created a major obstacle to strategy implementation at their organizations.  The role of middle managers in strategy implementation is a powerful one.

Get Managers Actively Involved
It is critical that managers agree and commit to the strategic priorities. Middle managers are the ones who must translate high level plans into decisions and actions to be carried out on a daily basis that affect customers and employees.  Without the commitment and support of them and their teams, your strategy is just wishful thinking.

The Bottom Line
Strategy execution is not a slam-dunk.  It takes a plan that is well understood and subscribed to by all in the company.  And it is the middle managers who need to be fully engaged if you are to get employees involved and actively pulling in the same direction.  Do not make the mistake of underestimating the role of middle managers in strategy implementation.  How are you involving your middle managers in strategy design and execution?

To learn more about how to help middle managers implement your strategy, download 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Cascading Your Corporate Strategy

Comments are closed.

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

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

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.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

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

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.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

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.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

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

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of 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

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

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.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

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.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

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