Check out these two alignment scenarios.
Jake was excited when things started. He was leading a major strategic initiative that was launched and backed by the senior executives and importantly, the CEO. He was chosen because of his obvious capabilities, extensive knowledge of the business, and his outstanding performance as a high potential employee. But now things were just not going well. Progress was stalling, dates were being missed, pressure was mounting, and he was now disheartened and wondering if he’d made the right decision to lead the effort.
Lisa was promoted from her marketing job for a line of products where she had grown the business well beyond expectations. A highly respected strategic thinker, she was now in a high visibility strategy position working with leadership at the top of the organization to implement a new strategy for the business. But even though division heads had been involved in the development of the new strategy and voiced their support, Lisa was increasingly frustrated because they were still doing their own thing and the strategy was beginning to suffer.
It happens all the time. Meetings are held, objectives are set, leaders and teams are chosen, resources are allocated, and new strategies or major strategic initiatives are launched. The initial fanfare creates a sense of momentum and soon the efforts are fully underway. But in most cases, that’s where the excitement –and progress– ends. Although more than 90% of businesses have some major transformational initiative underway, less than 25% will achieve their objectives.
When you do a deep dive on the root cause of failure, the most common cause is poor alignment. It's the #1 problem in all strategic efforts regardless of business size or industry. Is the organization aligned to the strategies? Are senior executives aligned with the strategic initiative? Is the division aligned with corporate? Are the functions aligned? The list goes on.
We understand how Jake and Lisa feel. Careers are at risk. Nobody wants to lead an important effort only to fail to deliver the results. Nor should they have to.
But there is good news. With a change in the approach to launching strategies or strategic initiatives, a tool to make it happen and a little guidance, you can experience unprecedented focus, alignment and engagement. You can succeed where most fail.
The approach is called a strategy cascade. And it’s made possible with ThinkPoints, our proprietary strategy development web app. The top level “parent” strategy is developed and then with a small amount of training and using ThinkPoints, next level down sub-strategies are developed by the employees responsible for the execution of the strategies. Strategies are linked. Objectives (your quantitative goals) are linked using lagging and leading indicators. Teams are energized and engaged. Instead of explaining the new strategy, employees engage with the new strategy. Instead of hoping the results materialize, the organization actually delivers. Your strategy or strategic initiative succeeds. You succeed.
You can discover more with our free resource. Go here to download it now. Or contact us for a free, no-obligation call to discuss your needs. Either way, act now to get your strategy or initiative on track and delivering.