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Key Strategic Action Questions

Leaders can sometimes get sidelined and stuck in a rut by focusing too much on tactics rather than strategies, and on what happened yesterday rather than what needs to happen tomorrow and the many tomorrows to come. Here are some questions to answer when you are thinking about Strategic Action. You might want to rate yourself on the questions including – how often and how well do you ask yourself and your people these questions?

Questions to Answer

1. Mission – the organization’s core work; reason/purpose for being

  • Why does this organization exist?
  • Whom does it serve?
  • What distinguishes it from other organizations?
  • What do you do that gives the organization meaning?

2. Vision – an inspiring, passionate, image of what the organization needs to and will become; a mental, even visual, model of the future; what success looks like

  • What kind of organization do you want to become?
  • What legacy do you want to leave?
  • How do you want to be perceived in the world? Be known for?
  • What does your ideal world look like?
  • What’s organizational culture do you want to create and how do you expect that culture will help you achieve your vision and strategic goals?

3. Values – the behaviors and actions that create the culture in the organization, the beliefs that drive decisions about people and work

  • What are the principles that guide your decision-making?
  • What can your stakeholders rely on in terms of the quality of programs/services/products delivered?
  • What do you stand for and how do you show that to each other?

When MVV are established and clear, you can begin to align people and work in significant and meaningful ways. Everything you do should align with your Mission, advance you toward your Vision, and be in harmony with your Values.

4. Strategies – These FEW BIG things will define how the organization will get where it wants to go. The overarching approach that will significantly advance the Vision and stay true to the Mission and Values.

5. Tactics – Those actions/activities/work, that when accomplished, will align with and advance the Strategies

  • What are the specific areas of work you want to address?
  • What do you want to have completed and by when in these various areas?
  • How will your goals advance your desired strategic outcomes?

6. Objectives – Fall within the Tactics. This is the work each person’s can identify with personally and can link to the organizational strategy, vision and mission

  • What specifically is the work that will advance the strategy and tactics?
  • Who are the right people to have this objective on their ‘plate?’
  • Who’s responsible for making it happen?
  • What are the deliverables, milestones, and time lines?
  • What resources (people, time, money, space, other) are required to make this happen and happen well?
  • What processes need to be in place (i.e. project management, change process, structure) to ensure a positive outcome?

Remember, it IS the leaders’ job to establish the mission and vision. Values should be developed with input and buy in from those who must live by them.

A vision is only a true vision when it has longevity, is not person dependent, and can stand the test of time.

Organizations need a FEW SIGNIFICANT and CLEAR, MEASUREABLE strategies to help advance the larger Vision.


About the Author

Roxi HewertsonLeadership authority Roxana (Roxi) Hewertson is a no-nonsense business veteran revered for her nuts-and-bolts, tell-it-like-it-is approach and practical, out-of-the-box insights that help both emerging and expert managers, executives and owners boost quantifiable job performance in various mission critical facets of business. Through AskRoxi.com, Roxi — “the Dear Abby of Leadership” — imparts invaluable free advice to managers and leaders at all levels, from the bullpen to the boardroom, to help them solve problems, become more effective and realize a higher measure of business and career success.

How can you make the leadership leap gracefully? Well, learning and practicing effective leadership skills is a good place to begin. When you read Roxi’s book you’ll be well on your way! Click here to learn more.

Management and Leadership Best Practice 4 – Communicate and Explain the Vision

From birth, we as human beings have an insatiable desire to understand our surroundings. Regardless of one's background, we tend to group and categorize things so to help establish order in our personal world.


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How to Think like a Visionary

I was riding in an airplane a few years ago when Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, plopped down in the seat next to mine. Imagine that! We talked for a while, and then Branson hurried off to visit a few of his friends on the other side of the plane. I should mention, by the way, that Branson had invited me on this particular outing – and it was in his brand new Boeing 747 (bound for the Virgin fleet). He wanted to show off his new toy.

In 30 years as a business journalist, I’ve met quite a few business visionaries: Steve Jobs of Apple, Fred Smith of FedEx, Intel’s Andy Grove, Motown’s Barry Gordy Jr., and many more.

What do they have in common? Business visionaries find ideas that the rest of us miss. They learn to picture things from different perspectives. They employ intuition. They know how to drum up support for their dreams.

So how can you think like a visionary? Here are some tips:


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About the Author

Erik Calonius, author of Ten Steps Ahead: What Separates Successful Business Visionaries from the Rest of Us, is a former reporter, editor and London-based foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, a staff writer for Fortune magazine and Miami bureau chief for Newsweek. In addition to this work, he has authored several other well-regarded publications as well as works of fiction.

StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 28 – An Interview with Ken Blanchard, author of Leading at a Higher Level

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles published on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 28 – An Interview with Ken Blanchard, author of Leading at a Higher Level examines how world-class leaders create a compelling vision; ensuring their employees know who the leader is, where they are going, and the values that will guide the journey. During our discussion, Ken Blanchard, author of Leading at a Higher Level, Revised and Expanded Edition: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • the value of focusing the organization on the ‘Tripple Bottom Line’
  • the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of a high performing organization
  • what the High Performing Organization (HPO) Scores model is and how it can be used to identify organizational performance improvement opportunities
  • using Situational Leadership to foster improved individual and team performance
  • establishing and reinforcing individual accountability
  • what differentiates servant leadership from traditional leadership approaches and why this approach is so powerful
  • benefits of developing and communicating a leadership point of view

Additional Information

In addition to the incredible insights Ken shares in Leading at a Higher Level and this special edition podcast are the additional resources accessible from his website at www.KenBlanchard.com.   Ken’s book, Leading at a Higher Level, can be purchased by clicking here.

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About the Author

Ken Blanchard, author of Leading at a Higher Level, is Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a global leader in workplace learning, employee productivity, leadership, and team effectiveness. Ken has had a profound impact on the practice of management around the world. His bestseller, The One Minute Manager, has been published in 27 different languages and sold 13 million copies. His 17 business bestsellers include Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service, High Five! The Magic of Working Together, and The Secret: What Great Leaders Know – And Do. To read Ken’s full biography, click here.

The “Vision Thing”: How to Find It, Frame It, and Live It

In the absence of a great dream, pettiness prevails. – Peter Senge

At some point in his or her career, every politician gets tarred with a catch phrase – and usually not a flattering one.

George Bush, Sr. is stuck with two. There was “Read my lips, no new taxes,” of course. But only slightly less unfortunate was his dismissal of what he called, “The ‘vision thing.'”


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About the Author

Roxanne Emmerich’s Thank God It’s Monday!: How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestseller. Roxanne is renowned for her ability to transform “ho-hum” workplaces into dynamic, results-oriented, “bring-it-on” cultures in a day. Listen to the free 60-second audio with teammates each Monday to clean up the craziness in your workplace and focus on getting massive results. Sign up today at www.ThankGoditsMonday.com.