Your Strategic Challenge is Really a Lack of Clarity

For many managers, the word strategy conjures up thoughts of gigantic PowerPoint decks, binders collecting dust and general confusion. A survey by Roger Martin of the Rotman School of Management found that 67 percent of managers believe their organization is bad at developing strategy.

At the heart of most strategy challenges is a lack of clarity as to what strategy is and how it differs from some of the other key business planning terms.

Harvard Business School professor David Collis is even more direct: “It’s a dirty little secret: Most executives cannot articulate the objective, scope, and advantage of their business in a simple statement. If they can’t, neither can anyone else.” Martin’s research supports this point: 43 percent of managers cannot state their own strategy.

What seems to be the cause of this lack of performance when it comes to strategy?

To more effectively develop and execute strategy, it stands to reason that we need to better understand it. In order to better understand it, we need to be skilled at thinking about it.

Not only does a leader need to be able to generate fresh strategic insights on a regular basis, he or she needs to be able to harness insights from their employees’ best thinking as well by facilitating strategy conversations. The ability to then package their strategic thinking and communicate strategy in a simple, persuasive, and concise manner is just as critical.

>> To learn more about strategy challenges for leaders, download Strategic Thinking by Rich Horwath, CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Horwath

Rich Horwath is the CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute where he has helped more than 50,000 managers around the world develop their strategic thinking skills. Rich is the author of the new book, Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking (Wiley, 2014). He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author on strategy and his work has appeared on CNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree with your 3 must-haves. I would add that the rectors have to call on every member who attends, at least once a year. The existence of a "calling commitee" is just an excuse to avoid making the effort. This is part of #3. If a rector does not like to call on parishioners, then she/he should not be a rector, but should find a different ministry. Carter Kerns, former senior warden, Diocese of Eastern Oregon and lifelong Episcopalian Tel# 541-379-3124
 
— Carter Kerns
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
 
— Jon Moore
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.