Roy's Blog

April 18, 2011

What happens to your career when you can clearly see strategy?

A successful career requires identifying directly with the strategy of the organization.

Here’s how to do it.

Establish a direct line between what your organization’s strategy says and what specific objectives and action plans you take on in your current position. This is a challenge in most organizations.

The strategic game plan contains lofty goals set at a high level and need to be drilled down to the individual employee in order to execute the plan effectively. Clear and direct line of sight defines brilliant execution.

Direct line of sight means that you have defined the relevant critical few things that you must do in order to maximize your impact on the new strategy.

It means that you have accurately translated the higher level ten thousand foot goals down to ground zero where you operate.

Line sight

Here’s an example. Let’s say that one of your marketing strategies is to target the retail customer segment in the greater Toronto area and grow your share of this group’s business by 10% over the next twelve months. You are the leader of the Call Center operations and want to translate this into what it specifically means to your goals and objectives.

Direct line of sight for your role means:

— Revised operating procedures that provide a focus on the retail customer group in all contacts. Other customers segments will get a lower priority.
— New training and development programs for the retail sector take priority over other training initiatives.
— More call center representative time is dedicated to retail customers than other customers.
—More attention given to the retail account in terms of learning their secrets.
— Building enhanced relationships between marketing and the call center teams. Joint activity planning sessions are held; shared revenue targets are set.
— Monthly joint meetings are held with marketing to review performance results for the retail customer segment. Action plans to address any shortfall between plan and actual results take number one priority.

The opposite of direct line of sight is described by words like indirect, circumlocutory, oblique, diffused, confused, meandering, feeble, and foggy. It suggests that you haven’t determined the specific actions you must take to successfully impact plan execution.
As a result, your energy is dissipated among many things - often associated with the old strategy - and you lack the precision and focus to make a measureable difference in terms of implementing the new strategy.

If you can’t define a direct line between what your role in the organization is and the overall business strategy your role will be vaguely defined and your contribution to the changes required will be watered down; it will get lost in the clutter and its energy will dissipate and get consumed by the momentum of other activities.

On the other hand if you can define and action those specific projects that have a direct impact on the corporate result your productivity shoots up and your actions truly make a difference. 

And you will attract the attention of the foxes as your clarity of thought and task focus will demonstrate that you are committed to living the new strategy through your daily actions.


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  • Posted 4.18.11 at 10:59 am by Roy Osing
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