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Posts Tagged ‘Organizational Strategy’

How to establish proactive internal communication practices for organizational strategic alignment


Source: Canva


One of the greatest human inventions is the magnetic compass, a device that uses the magnetic fields produced by the Earth’s poles for direction. This invention made navigation around the world easier than ever and it has evolved and been integrated into more complex and advanced systems to provide more accurate navigation. 

Analogously, organizational strategy is the compass used by organizations to navigate the journey to their strategic objectives, long-term goals, and vision. If the strategy is not well communicated and understood by all employees, navigation toward the vision is difficult. To achieve strategic alignment, transformation, and growth, the strategy must be conceived and acknowledged by all employees. Therefore, the Strategy Management Office (SMO) should emphasize the importance of internal strategy communication and education while developing and executing the strategy to ensure overall organizational strategic alignment. 

Read More: Internal Communication Strategy: Guiding Principles and Methods

First, the success of a strategic alignment is underlain by how far employees at the departmental level—the gears and the beating heart of the organization—understand and support the strategy. According to Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in their book “The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage,” the organization’s strategy can be visually and quantitatively explained using global strategy maps and scorecards. This can be cascaded to each unit in the organization by applying the top-down approach, ensuring strategic alignment. The benefit of this process is to give each department the opportunity to derive their own strategy maps and scorecards to develop their skills and knowledge that fit the corporate strategy. 

For this process to be implemented professionally, each department should produce a “service-level agreement” that shows how their department’s strategic goals support the strategy along with measurable metrics to be checked periodically by the SMO. Employees play an important role in implementing the strategy at a personal level. This triggers the need for a well-designed communication plan that consistently provides guidance and support to ensure that the strategic goals are always remembered and acknowledged by each employee, how the organization is achieving said goals, and who needs support to do so.  The SMO should provide this communication plan to each department and provide training on how to use its channels.  

Second, understanding the distinction in management levels as well as how to deliver the strategy to the targeted audiences and guide them in following it ensures professional implementation of strategic alignment. As discussed in The KPI Institute’s Certified Performance Management Professional course, there are three levels of management. The highest level is Top-Level Management, which uses a strategic management style that involves adopting long-term views and ensuring that tasks are performed in such a way as to achieve strategic goals. C-suite executives such as the chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO) are examples from this level who need to digest long-term goals to better deliver them to the other management levels. Hence, the SMO should support each chief officer to have a clear understanding and implementation of long-term goals. 

Middle-Level Management is the next level, and it includes general, regional, and divisional managers who deliver results by planning and setting objectives for their respective divisions. SMO should facilitate training sessions in performance measurement and management for this management level in order to ensure strategic goals are well measured, managed, and aligned with the mission. 

The last level of management is called Operational-Level Management, and it consists of first-line managers, department managers, and team leaders. These managers aim to develop a high-performance culture and high-performance work systems. Additionally, they manage teams and individual performance to meet organizational goals. Thus, the SMO should identify the core process that represents the organization’s strategic goal and that gives value propositions to its identity and then, work together with the operational managers to build the culture and the system of the organization based on this process. 

Read More: How public entities can better communicate strategy to citizens

Finally, clear corporate values enforce strategy implementation and guide employees’ behavioral aspects, priorities, and attitudes toward achieving organizational goals and aligning them with the corporate strategy. Corporate Values enforce principles that employees use to make decisions in day-to-day business activities, and they also solidify organizational culture. According to a survey carried out by employee engagement specialists Reward Gateway, employers with high Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS) have a workforce where over 80% of employees feel that they are recognized by their employer when they demonstrate corporate values. Therefore, a values-driven organization creates a work environment that fosters organizational strategic alignment. 

To succeed at achieving strategic alignment, employees at the departmental level should understand and support the corporate strategy. Moreover, understanding how to deliver and support corporate strategy according to management levels, helps in professional strategy implementation. Finally, creating a values-driven workforce encourages employees to drive their behaviors and attitudes toward achieving organizational strategic goals.

If you are interested in reading more insightful articles about strategy and communication, click here.


This article is written by Engr. Hussien Abdullah Alkhalifah, a strategy and business planning professional who specializes in corporate performance, agile project management, business process improvement, performance management, KPI implementation, quality control, and strategic planning, among others. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Why sustainability is an important component of an organization’s strategy


Across the globe, many governments and corporations are seeking cleaner and greener alternatives. It is becoming clear that sustainability should be an integral part of any organization’s strategic plan.  Samirkumar Pathak, head of sustainability and ESG for Almarai, explains why this is the case and how this can be achieved.

Practitioner Interview: Ihab Ibrahim’s Take on Aligning Sustainability Targets To Strategy Plan


In an interview with The KPI Institute (TKI) Publishing Team, Ihab Ibrahim Mohamed Alsakkti, a Strategy and Performance Manager at Alkifah Contracting Company, shares his insights and expertise in organizational performance management for the next issue of Performance Magazine – Print Edition.

On the one hand, investing in sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have strategy. But it is absolutely a need-to-have strategy to ensure compliance with governmental and regulatory requirements.

Here is an excerpt of the interview, where Ihab highlights the effect of sustainability in strategy planning and performance management.

The VUCA world and Agility that need HRM support


The Great Depression of 1929-39, the OPEC oil price shock in 1973, the Asian credit crisis in 1997, and the Great Recession of 2007-08 — these are just some of the most distressing downturns in economic history, and the current pandemic is adding to this list. Apart from these crises, businesses — however small or big — are continuously struggling with the ever-evolving technology. Companies need to deal with disruptive innovations, dynamic consumer likings, pricing, quality, and a high degree of satisfaction in user experience. Such risks arising out of unpredicted conditions coupled with traditional trade risks put a business on tenterhooks with the obvious threat of going into oblivion and give them no choice but to strive for excellence and agility to survive.

The dictionary meaning of agility is quickness, dexterity, alertness, swiftness, responsiveness. While there isn’t a single comprehensive definition vetted by everyone, some authors defined agility as one of the key organizational characteristics that need to be mastered to stay adaptive and competitive in turbulent markets. In the context of the current pandemic and the uncertainty it brings, it calls for an organizational response to the unproductive environment and the ability to convert threats into opportunities. However, the concept of agility was mainly associated with manufacturing industries that too around managing demand-supply variation. 

To cope up with a turbulent environment, organizations should have the ability to anticipate the direction and degree of change in a proactive manner. As such, organizational structures should be designed so that they permit greater agility, through flexible response. Enablers like leadership, strategy, people, and business processes play an important role in developing organizational agility. These enablers need to work in cohesion to enhance the agile components of the organization. 

The prevailing VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) conditions trigger dynamic and continuously changing environments, impacting the organizations. As a response, organizations need to develop the ability to innovate and acquire new knowledge so as to achieve agility for survival. The strategy around flexible HRM empowers organizations or firms to respond to external customers, competitive positions, technology selection and dissemination, creativity, and cycle time reduction. The focus in this paper is on the intangible resource (i.e. human resource) and the important flexibility dimensions of human resource management (HRM).

HRM strategy on agility

The HRM strategy should support reactive agility (organization’s responsiveness), proactive agility (organization’s effectiveness), and innovative agility (organization’s resourcefulness). HRM strategy is required to support the ever-dynamic market so that organizations can respond and achieve decent performance. Organizations paying attention to the HR strategy have been proved more profitable than others.  

The key attributes of agility in an organization that HRM should try to focus on and promote in the organization through key leaders are tabulated below. This is not a comprehensive list but can be developed depending upon the organization. As a next step, one should have measures in place around these attributes so that agility can be assessed if not measured. All key frameworks like BEM/EFQM, CMMI, or BSC aim at providing resilience to organizations; therefore, while developing any such framework these attributes can be guiding points.

Image source: The KPI Institute

The challenge to organizations today is how to imbibe and implement agility drivers and later how to judge the organization’s agility. One possible approach is to develop an agility maturity model in line with a capability maturity model in template form. The template itself needs to be dynamic and able to change with environmental factors. The table above is just guidance to look around such agility drivers so that it can be helpful in developing the template. 

Strategic HR plays an important part to ensure that the people in the organization understand and support such agility adoption. In fact, the versatility and the adaptive skills of a person are assessed even as early as the talent acquisition stage as this is an important dimension when recruiting an individual into the organization. The employees’ performance management system (PMS) developed by HR should pay greater attention to agility factors in a person rather than just task accomplishment levels. To conclude, understanding and navigating the complex eco-system in which organizations operate is crucial; at the same time, HR should play a bigger role in developing an agile workforce that can’t be just left to line functions.


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