Business Priorities

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With Goals, FAST Beats SMART

The conventional wisdom of goal setting is so deeply ingrained that managers rarely stop to ask if it works. The traditional approach to goals — the annual cycle, privately set and reviewed goals, and a strong linkage to incentives — can actually undermine the alignment, coordination, and agility that’s needed for a company to execute its strategy.

Developing a Strategy for Execution

  • Video | Runtime: 1:00:34

In this webinar by MIT Sloan’s Donald Sull, participants learn the fundamentals of strategy development. A good strategy is one that offers concrete guidance for identifying and reaching strategic priorities while retaining flexibility so the company can respond to unexpected opportunities and challenges.

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When SMART Goals Are Not So Smart

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

The traditional “SMART” approach to goal setting may no longer offer companies the best path forward. In a continually changing competitive environment, companies should develop their goals in the context of current conditions.

No One Knows Your Strategy — Not Even Your Top Leaders

Research shows that most organizations fall far short when it comes to strategic alignment. The authors’ analysis of 124 organizations revealed that only 28% of executives and middle managers responsible for executing strategy could list three of their company’s strategic priorities. How do leaders close this dangerous strategic-alignment gap?

Six Steps to Communicating Strategic Priorities Effectively

It’s common practice to develop a handful of strategic priorities to focus strategy — but formulated correctly, they’re also useful communication tools for both internal and external stakeholders. Clear, credible priorities linked to explicit metrics offer a framework for assessing progress toward the company’s goals, in a way that abstractions like vision or mission cannot.

How Effective Leaders Drive Digital Change

Success in managing digital transformation starts with clarification of priorities, effective feedback, open development communications, and a willingness to take risks. These four behaviors, which allow employees to share ideas more freely and embrace taking risks, can lead to higher-performing teams during digital transformation.

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How to Develop Strategy for Execution

When developing strategy for execution, managers often want to start by setting their strategic priorities, but that’s a mistake. Management teams should start by identifying the corporate vision and critical vulnerabilities — both of which help clarify and shape priorities.

Turning Strategy Into Results

Businesses develop strategies to address complex, multi-layered business environments and challenges — but to execute a strategy in a meaningful way, it must produce a set of specific priorities focused on achieving clear goals. Rather than trying to boil the strategy down to a pithy statement, executives will get better results if they develop a small set of actions that everyone gets behind.

Showing 1-14 of 14