Despite the amount of change companies have been subjected to this past year, or perhaps because of it, our Line-of-Sight™ data shows us that our clients have prioritized communicating their intent and goals to their employees.
Across a sample of our “pandemic cohorts”—clients we began working with mid-2020—we see high scores for Strategic Understanding. Strategic understanding includes measures such as:
Both individual and collective understanding of the organization’s strategy.
There is a perceived focus from leadership to communicate the strategy with employees.
Perceived value of the strategy for guiding employees’ work.
A shared sense of purpose.
An understanding of the company’s differentiation strategy.
Line-of-Sight™ measures each Key Success Factor for Execution (KSE) on a scale from 0 to 100. Clients from our pandemic cohort are showing Strategic Understanding scores from the mid-70s to 80s—unusually high scores for an initial organization health scan. For these clients, strategic understanding is one of the highest KSE.
Of course, it’s not a guarantee that the market position they pursue will be successful. What it does mean is that leaders are communicating and discussing strategy and goals broadly across the organization. This creates more opportunities for critical discussion, which will likely lead to refining their position and developing a more robust strategy.
Strategic understanding is only one aspect of good execution. But, so far, we are seeing our clients step up to share their strategic goals with their entire organization. A challenge will be maintaining this level of transparency and clarity as we head into the post-pandemic phase.
As the economy begins improving, there will be considerable risk in focusing more on the tactical aspects of operations. In doing so, the collective eyes of the organization may lose focus on a single, clearly positioned strategy. The risk is that improving financials will create opportunities to increase activity, people, and metrics that may be less rigorously aligned with the original strategy.
This is why our clients run Line-of-Sight™ pulse scans every quarter to measure how well they’re maintaining their execution excellence. We expect clients to accelerate this cadence. The rapidly improving post-pandemic environment will create many temptations to relax discipline, making it essential to rely on execution data to maintain and amplify the simplicity and focus that ensured their survival through this crisis.
Read: "Is 'True North' South of the Equator" to learn more about strategic understanding. And if you would like to enhance your own execution, please contact us, and we will initiate an assessment of your execution capabilities.