Executives at all levels see an important business role for driving strategic growth. But when it comes to mastering the elements of building an effective strategic plan, implementation of key strategies and accountability of their sustainability programs, many organizations have far to go and many have changes that need to be made.
Senior executives often tell us they have a strategy in place, and executives generally believe the issue is increasingly important to their organization’s success. But as their strategic programs become challenged in the marketplace by multiple competitive sources, many of whom are using innovation to drive their brand awareness and become better known, challenges to continue to retain key clients become increasingly more difficult. These are among the key findings from MarketCues recent SmartPlan360˚ Program™ assessments on the topic, which researched the key drivers and influencers of many organizations by asking how they sustain and scale their strategic growth.
Finding #1: A primary driver found in this research concerns organizational alignment, the vertical coordination of the organization’s top goals and strategies being driven at all levels of the organization. Year over year results show a high percentage of senior leaders citing alignment as one of their top reasons their organizations are successful and just as many reporting it as one of their chief roadblocks to growth. Of the six core foundational areas MarketCues researched, these executives state alignment as the most value potential for their organization. However, we find the majority of organizations of all types are not pursuing the alignment-building activities that would maximize their leadership performance leading to improved financial value.
Finding #2: Comparing organizations with the most effective strategic alignment programs in the broad market categories of Business, Education, Nonprofit, and Faith-based organizations highlights another challenge: incorporating a ‘Core Strategy’ through the organization’s processes, such as program development and innovation. This is one area where executives are more often than not experiencing difficulties at implementing growth strategies throughout their organization.
Finding #3: Beyond simple vision and mission statements, the leaders in business and nonprofit markets share strong strategic direction and values that are the keys to a thriving sustainability program. Included in these strategies are aggressive goals that the entire organization is thoroughly aware of and are implementing on a daily basis leading to a focused strategy and broad leadership buy-in.
Finding #4: One reason organizations need to make a shift in their strategy development is the top priority of any executive, in any market sector, has to ensure their organization remains viable and strong for the future. Senior leaders in all markets agree that sustainability is the top CEO priority. To think otherwise is perilous to any organization’s future success.
To overcome these challenges, senior leaders must be able to identify and prioritize their most promising strategic initiatives. In order to do this effectively they must be willing to be truly objective to ensure they work within achievable parameters and set goals their organization is capable of delivering. To determine these objectives it is essential to use a proven methodology to implement a strategic plan once it is developed. For one, they require the measurement of the potential of market segments, that are essential to ensure a growth curve. Secondly, they require truly smart planning that is sustainable and scalable. With both, organizations can raise themselves to their next level of growth to build a secure future.