Setting Direction

How do I get my organization to understand the need for change and align around a new direction?

The best strategies guide and focus an organization's energy on a select set of choices around opportunities and distinctive sources of competitive advantage; they reflect proprietary insights into what creates value for the enterprise; they make the whole worth more than the parts; and they are consequential in terms of decision-making, resource allocation and action.

A leader's role is to make strategy development as continuous, decision-focused and economically disciplined as possible. Leaders understand that executive team engagement is critical to building alignment on the strategy and the thinking behind it, which in turn enables effective execution and rapid response to changes in the environment. They build alignment and understanding through better facts, better choices and better dialogues.

To be effective in this role, they must:
  • Provide a clear purpose informed by better insights than the competition on what creates value for customers and the enterprise
  • Set ambitious performance objectives that provide stretch, challenge the status quo and energize the organization
  • Have conviction around the strategic issues and opportunities with the highest value at stake for the enterprise
  • Mobilize the organization around which markets to serve and which sources of competitive advantage to target
  • Challenge and change the internal barriers to strategic decision-making, such as short-termism, incrementalism and blindspots created by the organizational structure