Functional Strategy: Strategy Is Everyone’s Job

Functional Strategy: Strategy Is Everyone’s Job

Overview

Many people assume that strategic thinking, formulation, and implementation is only for the top-level executives of the company when, in fact, the opposite is true.

Great strategic thinkers are needed within every function of the organization. A company can outperform competitors only if it can establish a difference at each level, or in each activity of the business.

Therefore, a functional strategy is necessary to help leaders and individual contributors within each function understand, align with, and deliver upon the over-arching organizational strategy of the company.

This means that functional and departmental leaders must be in tune with not only senior management and the organization’s strategy, but the needs and wants of customers, as well as the business conditions, environment, market, and competitors.

Strategy Skills

CMOE’s belief is that strategy is everyone’s job, and that functional leaders must define a strategy that links the organization’s strategic objectives in order to achieve their personal, team, or departments’ strategic objectives.

This can be accomplished by exploring the following key areas that indicate strategic opportunities and give leaders insight into how they can formulate a strategy within the strategy:

  1. Your Customers: Identify your key customers (internal or external), who they will be in the future, how they are changing, and what your function will need to do to satisfy their demands over the long run.
  2. Your People & Talent: What skills and capabilities will be needed to address the threats and opportunities to your function and those the organization is facing? How many people and what kinds of new roles will be needed? How will peoples’ roles change in the future to handle the threats and seize the opportunities? Will the organization grow? Is future leadership talent being developed so change can be managed effectively?
  3. Suppliers & Vendors: Will they be able to give you what you need to meet future challenges? Are there new offerings that can help you resolve your particular business needs and issues?
  4. Competitors: Who are the players in your market? What are the strengths they offer? How can you take advantage of their vulnerabilities with your unique capabilities? How can you complete your activities better than your competitors?
  5. Products & Services: Are you preparing something new, refreshing, and value-added for your customers or users which enable them to be more productive?
  6. Organizational Infrastructure & Technology: What will your part of the business need to do differently in the future to keep up with new and emerging customers? Are you using technology to improve productivity?

Every business unit and function must be more devoted to strategic thought and action, and to view their work from a strategic perspective. CMOE’s Strategic Leadership Workshop and Applied Strategic Thinking® Workshop are designed to help leaders and individual contributors see the big picture for their business units and magnify their short- and long-term results. With the strategic tools and skills taught in these workshops, participants will leave prepared to successfully capitalize on the events shaping the world within their function of the business.

“Highly successful organizations call on all employees to think and act strategically.”

~ Strategy Is Everyone’s Job: A Guide to Strategic Leadership

“Strategic thinking belongs to every job…every day.”

“Each piece of the mosaic has to figure out how to be cost-effective and innovative, how to contribute to the big picture.”

~ Strategy Is Everyone’s Job: A Guide to Strategic Leadership

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