by: Brandon Kinsey, Chief Talent Optimizer and Co-Founder, Kinsey Management
Despite the amount of change companies have been subject to, and perhaps because of it, Line-of-SightSM data show that our clients have over-indexed on communicating their intent and goals to employees.
Across a sample of clients from the “pandemic cohort” – clients we started to work with from mid-2020 – we see high scores for Strategic Understanding. Strategic Understanding includes measures such as:
- Individual and collective understanding of the strategy
- Perceived focus of the leadership team on sharing the strategy with employees
- Perceived value of the strategy to guiding employees’ work
- Shared sense of purpose
- Understanding of the company’s differentiation strategy
Line-of-SightSM measures each Key Success Factor for Execution (KSE) on a scale from 0 to 100. Our clients from the pandemic cohort show Strategic Understanding scores in the mid-70s, and as high as 80 – unusually high scores for an initial organization health scan. For these clients, Strategic Understanding is the highest or second highest KSE.
This, of course, is not a guarantee that the market positioning they pursue will be successful. But it means that leaders are communicating and discussing it broadly across their organization. This in turn means that they create more opportunities for critical discussions, which are likely to lead to refining their positioning into a more robust strategy.
Strategic Understanding is only one aspect of good execution, but so far, we see that our clients have stepped up to broadly share their strategic goals.
Their challenge will be to maintain this transparency and clarity as they head into the post-pandemic phase. When the economy improves, there will be a greater risk of focusing on the more tactical aspects of operations and getting the collective eyes of the organization off the strategy ball. There will also be a greater risk of losing focus of a single, clear positioning strategy, as improving financials create more opportunities to add more activities, people, and metrics, in ways that may be less rigorously aligned with the original strategy.
This is why our clients run Line-of-SightSM pulse scans at least every quarter to measure how well they maintain their execution excellence. We expect clients to accelerate this cadence in 2021, as a rapidly improving post-pandemic environment will create many temptations to relax discipline; they will rely on execution data to maintain and amplify the simplicity and focus that ensured their survival in the worst of the crisis.
To learn more about enhancing your own execution, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will initiate an assessment of your execution capabilities.