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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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.