Strategies that do not get implemented are frustrating for leaders and their stakeholders. To move forward, you need a clear, believable and implementable plan to get from where you are to where you want to be. It must be meaningful; challenging but achievable and worthwhile; and clear and simple enough to communicate effectively across the organization.
The way to achieve the goals of a well-crafted business strategy is to break it down into measurable objectives. Sounds easy…but this is where so many leadership teams fall short. They don’t know how to craft good strategic objectives. Without them, there is no true guide to follow and no way to assign enough accountability.
1. First you need to agree upon where you are. Do you have a common understanding of what “Point A” represents? What is the current situation? What are the key complications that the company faces? How would you describe the critical few implications of not successfully executing your strategic vision?
2. Then you need to agree upon where you are going. What does “Point B” represent? Are you hoping to enter a new market to diversify your offerings? Grow your revenues by 20% and your margins by 15%? More fully engage your workforce to decrease attrition? Whatever your ultimate goal, a successful strategy sets up your organization to succeed; it helps you perform beyond the sum of its parts.
3. Lastly, you need to break up the overall strategy into concise objectives that align with and drive toward each strategic goal. Strategic objectives should be specific, have one clear owner, a specific date for completion and be measurable. The best strategic objectives are communicated in a single sentence that begin with a verb, include an object, a measurable unit and timeline. Recent client examples include:
• Increase our executive sales team by two members in the next six months.
• Improve employee engagement from 76.5 to 82.3 in twelve months.
• Decrease attrition of A Players by 50% in six months.
• Hire and onboard 250 new employees in the next 18 months.
• Grow our top 5 accounts by 18% by Q4.
• Improve average client satisfaction ratings by 3% by the next quarter.
From an approach perspective:
• Just make sure you don’t create too many strategic objectives. In our work over the last twenty years in helping clients craft workable strategic objectives, we have found that between 2 and 4 is the ideal number. You can focus on the few critical moves that will make a difference. Too many and your efforts will be spread too thin and meaningful success is unlikely.
• Design the strategic objectives as a team. When you co-create the strategies with your key stakeholders, you engage them in the process and gain their commitment to succeed. This is not the time to work in an ivory tower. Involve the team and they will feel ownership for the outcome. And with their work on the front end, it will be easier to delegate some of the responsibility for results.
• Have one owner accountable for each objective. Unless you do, little will get done. It is human nature to work on tasks that have one’s name attached to them. Though you as leader will be held accountable for the entire project, you should assign responsibility for the implementation of each objective. Do not have “two in a box.” While multiple people will most likely be responsible for completing the task, only have one executive team member accountable for the final results.
• Create an effective exposure mechanism. There should be regular meetings to monitor, report on and assess progress. Be as transparent with the organization-at-large as you can. Every single employee should have a clear understanding of the company’s strategy and where you stand in achieving it.
With clear, believable and implementable strategic objectives, you will know where to play and what actions to take. This is how a company strategy comes to life.
Corporate Change Is Personal
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
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
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
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 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
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
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 have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.
Director, Team Development
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
Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.
Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
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
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People 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.
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.
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