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.

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Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

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

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

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

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

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

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.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

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.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

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