Unclear Business Strategies Are Too Difficult to Execute

An entire whiteboard is covered with confusing equations...the epitome of unclear business strategies

Unclear Business Strategies Are Too Difficult to Execute
While it seems like common sense that unclear business strategies are too difficult to execute, leadership team after leadership team continues to think that twenty clear strategic initiatives equate to strategic clarity.  When you ask employees, that perception could not be further from the truth.

How to Increase Your Odds for Strategic Success
Overly complex strategies rarely take off or get implemented.  The sad thing is we know that, instead of being the exception, this situation holds true the majority of the time.

  • IBM found that less than 10% of well formulated strategies are effectively executed.
  • And even though strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies, employees we survey perceive that the business strategy is 50% less clear to them than their leaders believe.

What is Strategic Clarity?
Not only must your strategy outline clear and compelling choices about where to play and what actions to take…it must also be understood, believable and implementable enough by all key stakeholders.  You will know your strategy is ready for action when employees understand how their work directly contributes, believe it will lead to successful results, and know the entire company is fully committed to it.

How to Avoid Unclear Business Strategies
Here are four critical “musts” for putting together a business strategy that can be successfully executed:

1. Make the Strategy Ruthlessly Simple and Clear
Every company has a lot of moving parts and important projects. Not all initiatives are created equal however.  If you want to improve your chances of strategic success, spend the time required to identify the two to three strategic imperatives that matter most.

Strategy is all about choices and trade-offs.  The primary test of leadership is ruthlessly defining what not to do, wisely stretching limited resources to fit your aspirations, and fully committing to making it happen.

2. Actively Involve Others
The best strategies are those that are co-created with broad input, not just in the executives’ ivory tower. Not until you earn buy-in from all stakeholders (employees at multiple levels, customers, suppliers and any others who have a stake in your company’s future), can you expect widespread commitment to the plan and the willpower to overcome the inevitable challenges.

3. Maintain Steady Two-way Communication
The timely flow of information is critical for any strategy to succeed. Important messages need repetition and dialogue.  Your business priorities and the rationale behind them are your most important messages.

Your business strategy must guide and inform decisions across the organization.  Don’t expect employees to “get it” right away.  Reiterate the strategic priorities at every opportunity and welcome any questions about why it matters and how it should be implemented.

4. Provide Necessary Resources
Just as you can’t reap a harvest that has not been sown, you cannot expect strategy execution without the tools and systems required to make it a reality. Make sure you provide the resources (e.g. time, money, people, expertise, systems, practices, knowledge, skills, processes, etc.) to get the job done.  Do your employees have the resources required to get the job done?

The Bottom Line
Don’t fall on the wrong side of the statistics that weigh against the successful implementation of your strategy.  Start with a strategic plan that is simple and clear and that has been designed with input and challenges from multiple levels and departments.  Then keep a steady focus on the end vision and provide the means to get there.

To learn more about avoiding the traps associated with unclear business strategies, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Strategic Clarity

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn
Files under:  

Comments are closed.

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

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.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

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

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal.  They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

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