The Need for Strategy at all Levels of the Business

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.”

How to Spread the Strategy Vision Across Your Organization

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

  1. Understand essential strategy principles and concepts.
  2. Master the competencies and skills needed to practice strategic thinking, planning, and execution in their role, team, or functional area.
  3. Have access to the tools, templates, and guides that will help them formulate and execute strategy in their space that supports the organization’s overarching strategy.
  4. Develop a proactive, forward-looking mindset while paying appropriate attention to immediate expectations, priorities, and emergencies.

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.

Why Strategy Is Everyone’s Job

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.

Build a Strategy-Focused Culture with CMOE

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.

Related Services

Strategic Teaming

Applied Strategic Thinking® Workshop

Strategic Leadership Course

Strategy Development Processes and Services

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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

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Essential Skills all Strategic Leaders Have?

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:

  1. Define a vision or strategic intent that articulates a future focused view of success.
  2. Develop SMART goals and objectives.
  3. Formulate pragmatic plans or a playbook that outlines the actions and timeline to achieve specific goals.
  4. Create key indicators to measure progress accurately.
  5. Create a strategic narrative or story that explains your intentions in a coherent and understandable way.
  6. Develop a range of reasonable scenarios to keep in mind as the future unfolds.
  7. Coach team members and hold colleagues accountable for their responsibilities and roles.
  8. Adapt, be flexible, and learn from mistakes and setbacks.
  9. Collaborate, engage others, and create a sense of ownership for future strategies.
  10. Instill in others a sense of urgency that will ignite action and not just talk.

Why is Strategic Leadership an Important Part of your Organizations Success Formula?

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:

  1. Be alert and aware of emerging changes and not surprised by shifting forces that could harm or help your organization.
  2. Able to interpret and make sense out of the signals and information and know what to focus on that will impact your business.
  3. Formulate an actionable plan of attack to deal with risks and obstacles as well as pursue promising ideas.
  4. Actually implement and execute plans and deliver results.

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.

Delivery Options

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:

Instructor-led training (delivered onsite by a CMOE subject matter expert/facilitator)
Digital learning program (self-paced or live)
Blended and layered solution (combining instructor-led training and digital learning)
Train the trainer services (certifying internal trainers in CMOE's world-class programs)
Curriculum integration (deliver the topic in conjunction with another topic or event or build it into a development curriculum)
4-16 hours (8 hours preferred) for instructor-led variable for digital learning

Contact a CMOE Client Services Specialist to discuss a targeted solution that is right for your organization.