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Below C-Level Strategy

John Spence

September 09, 2009

"The CEO and her senior management team have just come back from a three-day offsite in Palm Beach with the new 'global strategy' and now it's your job as a business-line or mid-level manager to figure out how to take these lofty ideas and long-term plans and build an organization to effectively implement them in the real world. Or, you're a small business owner/manager and may never have had a 'three-day strategy off-site' at a high-end resort, but you still need to figure out how to create a company that can profitably compete in the marketplace. This sort of a situation calls for a different type of strategy, one that is less about looking at 'external' factors like differentiation and positioning; and more about looking at the 'internal' strategies of how to build an agile organization that can flawlessly execute on the key business objectives. This sort of strategic planning requires someone who is down in the trenches and understands how the business really works, far away from the ivory tower. Whereas C- level strategic planning is for people that 'make' budgets; below C-level strategic planning is for those of us that are given a budget. Folks at the C-level make broad reaching decisions that direct people and departments across the entire organization, while those of us below C-level often have to focus on the few places within the organization where we do have impact, influence and some level of control. Luckily, the most important strategies for creating a highly successful organization fall into a handful of key result areas, most of which are completely within your control."

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