Effective Leaders Make Time to Think Strategically

a clock is being held high against the sky

Great leaders build great strategies that people can commit to.

But the kind of strategic thinking that generates a clear, believable and implementable direction takes time. To lead well, leaders must set aside time to think strategically, systemically and laterally. The best leaders don’t just do…they reflect about the short- and long-term consequences of the company’s plans and are able to make far-reaching decisions in the midst of uncertainty.

As a leader, make sure you have time to reflect on the past, consider the current situation and look at different scenarios for the future. Here are some of the questions you should be asking if you are in charge of charting your organization’s future success:

  • Does everything we are doing make sense together?
    Look at all aspects of your business and evaluate your different activities against how much value they bring. If you are a company that makes printers, does it make sense to still be selling printer cartridges? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s important to have a sound rationale for continuing along the same business lines. One activity should complement the other in a way that the sum is greater than the parts.
  • Does the way we do business fit with our overall strategy?
    Alignment of strategy and organizational culture account for up to 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. If you are a company that succeeds through the collaborative efforts of teams, make sure your organizational structure does not reward individual contributions over reaching team goals. One way to approach this question is to think about how you would build the company if you were to start all over again based upon how you want to perform at your peak.
  • Do we do the right things for the right reasons?
    When you reflect upon why you do business the way you do, answer the question with something more than, “just because.” History should not dictate your practices, processes and procedures, the future should. Do you, for instance, continue to invest resources in upgrading your retail outlets even though the bulk of your customers reach you now through the internet? Perhaps you should invest more online than in your brick-and-mortar store fronts.
  • Do we make decisions with the future in sight?
    Let’s say that you have decided that, for the short-term, money is better spent online than on your retail facilities. But you need to think, too, about how this will affect your brand promise long-term. Even though customers reach you online, your image is also established by the look of your stores. How would deteriorating stores affect your brand over the long term? How will you maintain brand quality if paint is peeling on your signs on Main Street?

Whenever you sit down to consider the big picture of your business, try to do it from the perspective of someone from the outside looking in. Try to get a fresh, unbiased perspective on what makes sense for your business, your corporate culture, your market and your workforce. Don’t just continue doing business as you always have. Great leaders know that strategy, carefully planned and moving in the right direction, is what drives companies forward toward a successful future.

Benchmark your strategy to see if you are pointed in the right direction

Download Whitepaper: “Is Your strategy Clear Enough to Act?”

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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.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

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.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

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

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.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

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.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

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

Hyperion

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

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

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.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

“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

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.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

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