istock-magnifyHow effective is your strategy? Why not take my quick strategy test, and see where your strategy management approach is working and where there is further work for you and your team to do.

Simply score yourself and your organisation from 0 to 5 for each of the statements below, where ‘0’ means you strongly disagree with the statement, and ‘5’ means you strongly agree with the statement.

After completing the survey sum up your total score and find out what it means for you and your company by comparing to the summaries below.

1. Do You Have A Compelling Strategic Intent?

  1. Core purpose. We have a purpose that speaks to us over and above the task of making money.
  2. Ambitious goals. We set demanding goals for our future performance which are a constant focus for everyone in the business.
  3. Future intent. We have a clear view of how the company will meet our customers’ needs and deliver great results in the future.
  4. Distinctive advantages. We understand what drives value for the business and how we can develop further advantages over time.

2. Do You Have Clarity On Your Big Issues?

  1. Performance Assessment. We know where we make money – and where we don’t – across the business.
  2. Market Assessment. We understand our markets, their likely growth and profitability and their key trends and dynamics.
  3. Competitive Position. We recognise our current competitive position and know what we need to do to succeed in the future.
  4. Organisational Capabilities. We appreciate which capabilities drive our success and where we have emerging or critical weaknesses.

3. Do You Have A Focused Agenda For Action?

  1. Addresses the big issues. We have a strategic agenda focused on the big issues and opportunities shaping our long-term performance.
  2. Delivers the strategic intent. Our agenda will move us closer to achieving our major goals and objectives
  3. Clear themes. The agenda is broken down into a few core themes that everyone in the business can get to grips with.
  4. Prioritised initiatives. Our strategic initiatives are based on a few priorities that will best drive current and future success.

4. Do You Have An Effective Strategy Management Approach?

  1. A consistent Executive focus. The strategy is the Executive’s constant focus and their decisions are consistent with it.
  2. Organisational engagement. Our strategy is understood across the organisation, and our people actively support our direction.
  3. Decision-making. Our people have the freedom to make decisions in line with the strategy, and are held accountable for them.
  4. Ongoing strategy management. Strategy is managed on a continuous basis and is not a one-off exercise.


Your score is less than 40

Your company is probably struggling to make real progress in delivering a winning strategy. Your people and your stakeholders may be confused about your future direction and your key priorities, and senior managers may find it difficult to achieve alignment around decisions with a long-term impact. As a leader of the business you may find many low-level decisions are being passed up the chain for your approval and new initiatives may struggle to gain traction across the organisation. You are likely to find yourself being forced to compete on price rather than product/service quality or effective customer relationships.

Your score is in the range, 40-65

You have a reasonably effective strategy, yet you may find that you struggle to make it stick. Strategy is likely to be seen as something that is worked on once the “real” work has been done, and you may find it difficult to balance long-term goals with short-term demands. Strategic initiatives may be viewed as being distinct from business-as-usual, and you may have problems in persuading your best people to lead and drive these programmes.

Your score is more than 65

Your company is set up to develop and execute an effective strategy. You are likely to have set a clear direction, alignment around the strategy is likely to be high and your people understand their role in its delivery. The key watch-out going forward is to ensure that your strategy remains relevant in the context of fast-changing business environments. Remember, nothing fails like success, and you must ensure that you continue to be proactive in raising the bar and driving future growth.

© Stuart Cross 2010. All rights reserved.