If you’re in a senior role in your organization, the company will expect you to set your own big vision strategy for your division. Your responsibility is to ensure that everyone on your team is working toward ultimate success in all your business undertakings. Ensuring buy-in from everyone involved to make sure they are 100 percent on-board and invested is vital. That requires an inclusive, collaborative mindset. Plus you have to use insightful data to keep everyone accountable.
Key Components of a Successful Strategy
Establish Your Vision and Gain Buy-In:
As the leader you need to establish a clear overall strategy and vision. But the bar you set last year is now obsolete. As your executive role increases, update your standards and the scope of your strategic outlook. Always keep your team goals aligned with those of the whole organization. But make sure that each member of your own team is focused specifically on their area of expertise. Then guide their teamwork to guarantee that the team or divisional outcome is significantly greater than the sum total of what they can contribute individually.
Set Collaborative Team Objectives:
While you may have some non-negotiable objectives, you’ll want to allow your team to make group decisions. That gives them autonomy and a sense of ownership of the process and the results. That automatically and organically creates individual and team buy-in, as an integral component of their decision-making and prioritizing of goals. But because you delegated that to them, their commitment to the project feels like their own idea. People are much more motivated and invested than they would be if you made the decisions for them and then issued a unilateral mandate.
Innovate and Create Solutions:
As the leader, allow your team to engage with a more entrepreneurial spirit. They’ll not only take on greater responsibility, but hold themselves more accountable. But perhaps the best outcome from giving them that strategic freedom is that they don’t feel afraid to take some calculated risks. Otherwise they will always paint inside the lines and never be bold enough to think outside the box. Trust me. If you give them the impression that you are averse to risk taking, they’ll keep their creativity very conservative. Limiting the parameters of their thinking because of your own bookended vision stifles the kind of innovation that every competitive organization needs to stay in the lead.
Set Metrics While Remaining Adaptable and Flexible:
Now you need to come up with your metrics. What are you going to measure, and how often, to know if you are on or off course? Decide who is going to be accountable for what specific outcomes. Then decide how frequently you need to meet as a collective group to assess team progress or tweak strategy. When I was working with one of my SVP clients, I asked him if he was willing to alter his direction once the work was underway. I love his answer. “Of course I’m willing to alter any plan, because I’m married to success!” The best leaders usually revise their plans quarterly, as business conditions change and shift.
Make Strategy and Achievement a Daily Activity:
On a daily basis, you and your team have to live and breathe the responsibilities and accountabilities of the divisional strategy. Living it also means looking at the dashboard metrics not just to see what has been done. You have to figure out why it happened. Coach team members to dive deeply behind the statistics. Uncover the root cause of the results. Search for underlying reasons to explain your success…and lack of success. That’s how to utilize dashboard metrics. They aren’t the solution. They are just sign posts to help you improve performance and hit your goals more predictably. Discuss this strategy every time you follow-up with your team. Review what’s working, what’s not, and what you need to change to accelerate through the curves.
Keep the Strategy Alive
Once you and your team have finalized overall strategy, here are a few pointers to keep things moving forward on track:
- Hold everyone accountable for their results. Stretch them outside their comfort zone. That’s a developmental opportunity that expands their strategic critical thinking.
- Leaders new in their job or to your organization require special attention. Give them more senior people to turn to when they have questions or hit a roadblock.
- Mix up your collaboration sessions. Ask leaders from various departments and technical backgrounds to offer creative ideas.
- This eliminates chronic blind spots. It also contributes directly to the development of big-picture, inclusive strategic thinking and problem solving.
Panoramic, inclusive leadership vision is essential to your success. But it only works if you help every person on your team develop that same perspective. Apply these practical steps and strategies and you’ll make your teams more self-motivated and expert. That kind of high-bar leadership excellence is contagious, and the outcomes are predictably extraordinary.
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