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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I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.
HR Program Manager
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
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.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
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.
Chief Financial Officer
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
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.
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
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.
Director, HR Business Partner
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
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
I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.
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
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
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