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.
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
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Vice President, 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.
Senior Marketing Manager
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
For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development
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VP 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
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Chief People Officer
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Director of Global Recruiting
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Director of Human Resources
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Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
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.
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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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
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Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
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