All too many companies fail at executing strategy. Executives spend multiple hours in the board room focused on making a plan for future growth. Yet, between the strategy design and strategy execution, there is a chasm that is seldom crossed. In fact, according to a research report by IBM, 9 out of 10 companies fail to implement their strategies consistently. What’s going wrong and what can be done about it?
In our two decades of work with clients who are looking for help in implementing their strategies, we have found that the overriding problem is a lack of clarity…fuzzy job roles, an unclear decision making process , and a corporate culture that is not aligned with the strategic objectives.
If you want a strategy that is clear, believable and implementable:
• Be clear about job roles and responsibilities.
Unless employees know exactly what they are responsible for and what actions are expected of them, they can’t begin to execute the strategy effectively. Where do they fit in the overall organization and how do they overlap the job roles of others? When workers are unsure about how their success will be measured and what they need to do, they do less and with ever decreasing motivation. They are not held accountable for their performance.
Managers suffer from confusion too and spent far too much time second-guessing their direct reports. The critical link between rewards and performance is missing. The result? Confusion over roles, duplication of effort or tasks totally neglected, and decline of motivation. The strategy is mired in muck.
• Be clear about how decisions will be made.
Unless employees know exactly how and at what level decisions will be made, they can’t be expected to make good and timely ones. Who, for instance, gets to decide the price of a solution? Salespeople need to know if they have the authority to create a deal from start to finish or if they have to report in to their sales manager, their sales team, the legal department or the solution providers before negotiating and making promises to the customer.
Then there is the question beyond “who” to “how.” Companies with a clearly established decision making process move efficiently from defining the problem to solving it. Each stakeholder understands the steps that will be taken on the way to a final decision and can play their part accordingly.
• Be clear about the corporate culture you want and how you will promote it.
If organizational culture is defined as the way business gets done on a day-to-day basis, make sure that the environment you promote is one where information moves freely from one level to another and where openness and trust are valued. Few strategic objectives will be achieved in an atmosphere where mistakes lead to blame rather than to better ways of dealing with the situation.
An open corporate culture is one where questions can be asked freely and different perspectives are welcomed and respected. This is the kind of culture that values continuous learning and provides the basis for the change of attitude and process that strategies require.
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Workforce Planning Bureau
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Vice President 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.
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We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
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We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.
Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President
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VP 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.
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.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
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.
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