Organizational Strategy Assessment
Many organizations have strong leadership and vision, but nonetheless, flounder on the way to implementing that vision. ELG can help make sure that doesn’t happen to your organization by assessing its readiness and capability to implement your strategy and by showing you how to make critical preparations and adjustments to assure success.
ELG’s Assessment of your organization’s capability to implement new corporate strategy focuses on five primary areas — goal-setting, compensation, progress reviews, structure and processes. All of these areas need to be aligned in a way that strongly reinforces the achievement of your strategy with speed and agility. Here’s a brief summary on how we test that alignment:
Over the years, ELG has learned that one essential and immutable element for successfully implementing corporate strategy is a method of clearly tying the goals of individuals throughout the organization to the stated strategy. Consequently, our Assessment of an organization’s capability to implement strategy starts by examining how well individual goals and measurements (or what we call, “Whole Goals”) are aligned with corporate strategy. We identify the strength (or weakness ) of those linkages, and we point out how they can be improved.
Specifically, when we review your goal-setting, we will be looking for these common pitfalls in linking individual goals and corporate strategy:
- Inflexibility. When individual goals are set annually — or even semiannually — with no easy mechanism for timely adjustment — they often remain tied to strategies which are outdated. The result can be Inaction — everyone mouthing obedience to the new strategy, but not adjusting their actions to match their words.
- Insufficient vertical alignment. When individual goals are set without sufficient and cumulative tie-in to the goals of supervisors, the result can be Danglers — pet projects and other work that is irrelevant to strategic goals; Gaps — strategic goals that are not supported by enough work at the tactical level; Activity Traps — the expenditure of a lot of effort with little result; and Diffused Direction — goals that get muddled as they are dispersed downward through the organization.
- Insufficient horizontal alignment. When individual goals are set without enough attention to how they mesh with the goals of peers, we often encounter Overlaps — redundancy of individual goals and work, leading to conflicts and wasted effort and Cutthroat Behavior — individual employees focused fiercely on their own goals, sometimes to the detriment of the organization as a whole.(These barriers to successful strategy implementation are also presented in our “Goal-Setting Pitfalls” graph.)
As we are examining your goal setting methodology, we will also be looking at a closely related subject — compensation. Well-aligned goal-setting provides clear direction, but not necessarily motivation. That requires bonuses and other facets of compensation linked to the achievement of goals. And it’s important to make sure that rewards are linked to results, not activities.
In addition, our Assessment will examine the frequency and methodology for checking progress toward the achievement of goals and strategy. Without a sound method for tracking progress and making midcourse corrections, your vision may not become reality.
Structure and Processes
Once we have a clear view of how goals and work will be structured to achieve a corporate strategy, we can judge how well aligned your organization structure and your functional processes are to support those goals and work activities. When we find overlapping or conflicting goals, a change of goals or of organizational structure (and responsibilities) is in order. Likewise, when the achievement of goals is hindered, rather than supported by, functional processes, either the goals or the processes need to be adjusted.
The result of our Strategy Implementation Strength Assessment will be a thorough report on the readiness of your organization to implement new corporate strategies, with specific recommendations for how to strengthen any areas that need improvement. With the insight that such an Assessment provides, you’ll be able to better prepare your organization to implement your strategic direction with speed and precision.