The long-term, sustained success of any organization depends on everyone at every level—especially leaders—being willing and able to think beyond today’s current level of success and contribute to the organization’s overarching strategic direction. Organizations must have what we at CMOE call “strategies within the strategy.” This means that private businesses and public agencies alike must enroll and engage everyone in understanding and executing on the organization’s strategic priorities and decisions. Executing only on the task at hand won’t ensure that the organization will be competitive and relevant in the future.
A Senior Executive we work with articulated the notion of strategy at all levels well when he said, “I expect people to become acquainted with the broader context in which they operate and understand the organization’s long-term direction so they can identify opportunities and risks and put appropriate plans and actions in place that will help the organization grow and develop over the long term. This is the only way to effectively change, grow, create, and deliver new sources of value for all our customers and stakeholders.”
For an organization to become more strategically focused, agile, and positioned to execute on strategic priorities and key initiatives, leaders and individual contributors at all levels need to learn how to be strategic and proactive. It requires every function, department, leader, and individual to
As strategic thinking and action becomes a natural part of everyone’s work and the fabric of the organization, people will be able to successfully shift between their daily, routine responsibilities and a more forward-looking and proactive mode of thinking and working.
Leading-edge organizations recognize the importance of getting people working on strategy because it is no longer a top-down process. Effective strategy has to be both top down and bottom up, because people who are doing things like working with customers, figuring out new operating procedures, and thinking about new services and products have a lot to offer as organizations navigate the future, deal with change, leverage opportunities, and create a competitive advantage.
When leaders and individual contributors are empowered to work through strategic problems that stand in the way of positive, long-term change, organizations can create a place of hope and promise for all members of the organization and achieve success tomorrow as well as today.
To learn more about CMOE’s learning experience, products, and tools for creating a strategy-focused culture and helping your organization incorporate strategic success at specific levels, view our strategy products and services or contact us to speak with a CMOE Representative.
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“Everyone in the organization has to be a contributor (not just a performer). This means you have to be better at what you do than the person doing your same work in competitor organizations”.~ Steve J. Stowell, Ph.D.
“Burnout happens, not because we’re trying to solve problems, but because we’re trying to solve the same problem over and over.”~ Susan Scott
“Try some occasional bold moves, surprise yourself, and be an active force in the creation of the future that you want to see unfold.”~ Ahead of the Curve: A Guide to Applied Strategic Thinking
Conceptually, everyone knows that strategy is important to your organizational success formula. Over the past three decades, many popular theories have emerged from academics and scholars that are interesting and helpful. But when it comes down to implementing these ideas, a leader will need some relatively straightforward skills and abilities that need to be sharpened on a regular basis. These essential skills are:
Every organization that wants to sustain their success must deal effectively with a dynamic and uncertain future. No one can say for sure what opportunities and challenges lie ahead or how fast your enterprise will have to adapt and take advantage of new ideas or maneuver through threats and vulnerabilities.
What we do know is that it will take good leaders with a knack for thinking and acting strategically. Leaders who are prepared and well trained to do the following four things will ensure your future is prosperous:
When leaders at all levels do these four things well, they fill an important role that successful organizations require if they aspire to achieve long term success and create value for all stakeholders.
In order to meet the specific needs of each client we partner with and make the most of the learning and development investment, CMOE offers programs in the following formats and lengths:
Contact a CMOE Client Services Specialist to discuss a targeted solution that is right for your organization.