In our most recent podcast, Keith interviewed Leigh Paulden, 7 Attributes Certified Coach and author of Gravitas Impact Monograph: Radical Alignment to a Core Strategy, due out this September.
Paulden illuminated the importance of Radically Aligning Your Core Strategy. In a nutshell, this process can drive the economic engine, impact culture, and provide clarity for your organization. Here are the top five reasons to radically align your core strategy according to Leigh Paulden:
Sustain Profitable Growth Over a Longer Period of Time
Many companies have elements of strategy, but then there are elements that are missing, and by doing so they don’t have true clarity and direction. And so that makes it very hard for them to make decisions and know they’re going in the right direction. But secondly, it really makes it hard for them to differentiate from their competitors. And that’s what eventually starts to slow growth or stop it, or in some cases, I’ve seen it declined. So many companies can grow and do grow. And for a number of years, but eventually though, they’ll hit a brick wall where all of a sudden, I’ll be talking to a CEO. And it’s, it’s it’s a case of we’re not growing the way we should be, we’ve stopped growing. We don’t understand why. And then with a closer look at what elements they have their company strategy levels, and then a divisional strategy level, I see quite a bit mistake. They don’t truly have a clear strategy in place, and that’s affecting their growth.
Clarifying Your Priorities Eases Decision-Making
When an organization is without a formal strategy, everything can feel like a priority, which in turn makes deciding what to do now or next overwhelming. As a result, it’s not unusual to find oneself jumping from one effort to another—and failing to do anything well or fulfil any of those priorities as a result. many companies do grow without a solid strategy. But most are achieving average results, or seeing growth slow, stop, and in some cases decline over time. To avoid such outcomes and achieve consistent results, your company must be disciplined to the point of being radical. It must set a core strategy and then remain aligned to it. Ultimately, you should be able to clearly state your company’s strategy in a single phrase—one that every member of your team knows and upholds.
Radical Alignment Provides Top-line Revenue Growth and Bottom-line Profit Results
Strategy provides long-term, medium-term, and short-term direction for a company, establishing a line of sight into the future. Strategy tells us what we should be doing, what we should not do, what difference the company is making in the world, how the company differentiates itself from its competitors, and gives
context for people to use in making decisions for the company, regardless of how big or how small. Put simply, a solid strategy provides longevity to a company, moving it from good to great—as author and business management expert Jim Collins would say—over time.
The Return on Time and Costs Invested in Defining Your Core Strategy are Massive
A crystal-Clear Core Strategy starts with Jim Colin’s Hedgehog concept. So, what is the Hedgehog Concept? Jim Collins describes it as “a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles: 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine.” Transformations from good to great come about through a series of good decisions made consistently with a Hedgehog Concept, supremely well executed—accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time.
Systematize Your Data and Insight for Accurate Benchmarks
If you conduct this exercise once a year, over a one-month period with up to 10 people, you’re going to have some really good data on how aligned and how clear your strategy has been driven into the organization. Give your leadership team members 3 Sticky notes, with the following questions, the first is, “what you feel we’re most passionate about here in the company?” Give them a minute to do it, hand them the second sticky note asking, “what do you think we’re best in the world at doing?” And give them a minute to fill that out. And on the third sticky note asking, “what do you think drives our profit, our economic engine?”
About Leigh Paulden
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