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.

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

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

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.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

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

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

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

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

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’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

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