LSA Global Insights Newsletter

March 23, 2019

6 Field-tested Steps to Restructure Your Team


Effective organizational structures help teams to perform beyond the sum of their parts.

Before restructuring their team, leaders should be clear about what their current and desired organizational structure encompasses in terms of goals, roles, tasks, and processes used to organize the flow of work. This includes the underlying relationships and beliefs required to get work done on a day-to-day basis. 

Can Restructuring Solve Your Problem?
Periodically and for a variety of reasons, it makes sense to reorganize your team to unlock value or to fix a problem. While team reorganizations sound like a relatively fast and concrete way to solve complex problems, a recent McKinsey survey found that over eighty percent fail to deliver the desired benefits on schedule.  

And teams that have been through a reorganization often report higher levels of stress, lower levels of productivity, and decreased levels of employee engagement.  So while structural change sounds like a smart way to improve collaboration, communication, and performance problems, team reorganizations are fraught with performance and people challenges.

The Top Reasons to Reorganize Your Team
As with any change, there is typically a specific catalyst that drives the need to restructure a team. The most common reasons reported by our clients include: 
  • Realigning functions and people to new strategic directions
  • Adapting to changes in leadership 
  • Solving collaboration, communication, decision-making, or performance problems 
  • Reducing costs 
  • Refocusing priorities 
  • Unlocking potential in terms of efficiency or effectiveness 
  • Keeping up with the fast pace of external change 
  • Aligning confusing or contradictory goals, roles, scope and success metrics
Why Up to 80% of Team Reorganizations Fail
Any reorganization upsets the status quo. And change is likely to be at least resisted and at worst feared and fought. Like most major corporate change initiatives, team reorganizations typically fail due to employee resistance driven by a combination of:  
  • Lack of a compelling reason for the change 
  • Unclear vision for success 
  • Ambiguous or misaligned goals, roles, or success metrics 
  • Contradictory cultural norms 
  • Misaligned leadership
  • Insufficient resources or capabilities 
  • Inability to monitor progress and continuously improve
Is your reorg set up to succeed?


About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


February 23, 2019

Sales Toolkit to Stay Above the Competition


Effective sales leaders grow revenue and profits through organizational alignment by ensuring the go-to-market sales strategy is clear, by building a high performance sales culture and by attracting, developing, engaging and retaining top sales talent.
  • At a strategic level, good sales leaders set the right course and create clear goals, roles, success metrics and career paths. 
  • At a cultural level, good sales leaders ensure that the sales culture is not only healthy, but 100% aligned with the sales and business strategies. 
  • At a talent level, good sales leaders consistently attract, develop, engage and retain top sales talent that fits.


About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


3 Things to Get More from Your Sales Team


The highest performing sales leaders know how and when to apply the right amount of performance pressure.

Sales leaders are expected to get the most from their sales teams in terms of revenue, margin, win rate, cycle time, portfolio mix, client satisfaction, and client retention.

Sales Leaders Want More from their Teams
To achieve results, most leaders report wanting and needing more from their teams to reach their targets. This is no easy task.  Sales leaders also report struggling mightily  with how far and how hard to push their teams to meet ever-increasing expectations. 

On one hand, sales leaders want to reach for the stars and exceed expectations. On the other hand, they do not want to push too hard or too fast and risk losing people, respect, or clients.  Their concern is valid. 

The Definition of Performance Pressure 
We define performance pressure as how much your sales force feels the need to improve performance. Sales performance pressure increases when you ask for more and when you have high consequences for success or failure. Conversely, sales performance pressure decreases when you ask for less (or are unclear about what you are asking) and when you have minimal consequences for success or failure.  

How to Strike the Right Balance
So how do sales leaders strike the right balance when they want and need more? Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, some sales performance pressure is too much, some is too little, and some is "just right." It depends on your specific sales objectives and situation. 

Regardless of the amount of sales pressure you put on your team, the right amount of performance pressure is a necessary component to getting the most out of your sales force. Unfortunately, too many sales leaders try to create urgency when they believe their team is not pushing hard enough without understanding what it takes to set them up for success. Pushing your team too hard can result in burnout, disengagement, under-performance, and attrition.

Smart sales leaders know that performance pressure must be carefully monitored and balanced by other factors. If you create too much or too little performance pressure, it will not matter if you have the "right sales people" or a "great sales strategy" or a "strong desire to grow." You will most likely not get the results you want.

To understand the right balance of performance pressure for your sales force, pay careful attention to three areas before you try to increase levels of urgency and performance.

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


January 26, 2019

Change Management Toolkit to Link Strategy and Results


Effective change leaders design, mobilize, and transform their organizations by linking strategy and results.  
  • At a strategic level, good change leaders set the right course and create clear goals, roles, success metrics with their key stakeholders. 
  • At a cultural level, good change leaders ensure that the culture is not only healthy, but 100% aligned with the desired changes. 
  • At a project level, good change leaders set their teams up for project success.


About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


Are Your Managers Making Decisions that Move Your Strategy Forward?


The Real Decision Makers
While most agree that the executive team is responsible for setting the strategic direction, too many employees are confused about who is responsible for moving the strategy forward. We believe that the real engine of strategy execution resides with line managers who make day-to-day decisions. 

Line managers are "on the ground" and close to customers. They can readily see what needs to be done and when. To meet increasing customer expectations, there is often little time to follow lengthy and time consuming protocols or to wait for decisions from the C-Suite. 

Ineffective Decision Making
When managers are disconnected from what matters most and how work should be accomplished, even well-crafted strategies can falter. Ideally, each and every decision throughout a company should help to move the strategy forward. Are your managers up to the task? 

What This Means for Business Leaders
If you want your managers to make the right decisions, you need to connect the dots between where the company is headed, how the work should be accomplished, and their unique contribution and purview to make it happen. 

To improve decision making:
  • Be Clear:  Clarify decision-making authority so managers know where, when, and why they are free to make decisions
  • Be Thoughtful:  Develop decision-making guidelines and protocols so managers know how to make decisions
  • Be Smart:  Hire and develop managers capable of making meaningful decisions at the right level
  • Be Open:  Allow for independent execution in pursuit of corporate priorities and encourage the constructive debate of ideas
The Bottom Line
A leadership team can announce a strategy, but that strategy will only be fully executed if line managers understand it, believe in it, and can make aligned decisions.  Leaders need to actively involve managers in the strategy design and then connect the dots with the right decision-making guidelines, skills, and empowerment to succeed.
To learn more about creating the management capabilities to move your strategy forward, download


About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


January 15, 2019

LSA Global - Top Articles from 2018




Wishing you good times, good cheer, and a memorable new year.


Thank you from all of us at LSA Global for your business, loyalty, and
support in 2018. We have enjoyed helping you to create a competitive advantage through people.

We hope you enjoy these top 10 downloads from 2018.


About LSA Global

Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned

November 24, 2018

Sales Toolkit to Stay Above the Competition


Effective sales leaders grow revenue and profits through organizational alignment by ensuring the go-to-market sales strategy is clear, by building a high performance sales culture and by attracting, developing, engaging and retaining top sales talent.
  • At a strategic level, good sales leaders set the right course and create clear goals, roles, success metrics and career paths. 
  • At a cultural level, good sales leaders ensure that the sales culture is not only healthy, but 100% aligned with the sales and business strategies. 
  • At a talent level, good sales leaders consistently attract, develop, engage and retain top sales talent that fits.

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


Are You Truly Setting Yourself Apart from the Competition?


Your company's unique value proposition is worth the time and effort to get it right.

Yet, Many Sales Teams Struggle to Differentiate
Any successful go-to-market strategy depends heavily upon a clear and compelling value proposition that sets you and your company apart from the pack in the eyes of your target clients. 

Eventually, all sales and marketing teams are confronted with articulating what makes their offering superior to the competition. 

If you cannot simply and easily describe what specifically makes your offering better, faster or cheaper than the alternatives in the marketplace, you have some work to do. 

The Definition of a Unique Value Proposition 
A unique value proposition is typically a concise sentence or two that communicates the compelling value of what you do for your clients and why you do it better than anyone else. It is specific, simple, and clear in the areas of "better, faster, or cheaper." 

Why Differentiation Matters
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic sales clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams in terms of revenue growth, margin attainment, customer retention, and sales team engagement. 

Strategy requires choice. Clarity about your differentiation helps improve your ability to make decisions about how to market, prospect, sell, win deals, serve clients and allocate scarce resources.

While many sales teams mistakenly try to "be all things to all people" to fuel growth, research confirms the opposite. Narrowing the focus of both your services and your target clients improves, rather than hinders, growth.

Common Problems Caused by Unclear Differentiation
If you are not clear about what sets you apart from the competition, your marketing, sales and resource allocation efforts will most likely run into problems.

Marketing Problems Caused by Weak Value Propositions
We believe that the fundamental purpose of marketing is to do three things:
  1. Create brand clarity
  2. Increase market awareness
  3. Deliver qualified leads to sales
It is almost impossible to accomplish any of these if there is confusion or disagreement regarding what sets you apart. 

Sales Problems Caused by Weak Value Propositions
We believe that the fundamental purpose of sales is to:
  1. Drive profitable revenue growth
  2. Win new business
  3. Meet portfolio mix and deal size targets
  4. Reduce sales cycles
If you are trying to be all things to all people, your chances of success at any of the four are low. And forget about sales training. Trying to improve the sales skills of sales reps armed with an unclear value proposition is just wishful thinking.

Resource Allocation Problems Caused by Weak Value Propositions
Effective strategies ruthlessly prioritize investments and allocate scarce resources based upon what matters most. Because different value propositions require different things from different support systems, ambiguity creates tremendous organizational ineffectiveness.

If your unique value proposition is unclear, it is very difficult to make smart choices regarding sales territories, compensation plans, organizational structure, success metrics, sales training, and product road maps.
 
It could be just the right time for you to refine how you set yourself apart from the competition.

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


October 27, 2018

Leadership Toolkit


Effective leaders who align their culture and talent with their strategy grow revenues 58% faster, are 72% more profitable, retain customers 2.23-to-1, and engage employees 16.8-to-1.

They outperform their peers by creating organizational alignment for growth. They take care of the business and their people by:
  • Ensuring strategic clarity
  • Building high performance cultures
  • Differentiating top talent
Get field-tested tools to outperform your peers.

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


How to Break Down Silos & Resolve Cross-Unit Conflicts


Like change and increased competition, we believe conflict is here to stay.

In a recent study, 85% of workers across all levels report experiencing some form of conflict that decreases their productivity.  29% reported experiencing unproductive conflict frequently. In the U.S. alone that equates to over $350 billion of worker time spent in unproductive conflict.

Why This Matters
Too many leaders, factions and functions are competing for influence and limited resources instead of working seamlessly together across geographies, silos, departments and conflicts to successfully execute their go-to-market strategy. 

The need for increased collaboration has been driven by strategies that require common goals and complex solutions that span disciplines - strategies that can present a single face to the customer, rapidly adapt products and services, and fight off intensified competition.

The Root Cause
We find that most companies mistakenly believe that cross-function conflict is caused by interpersonal challenges that erode trust. While it is true that trust is the bedrock of healthy conflict, our research and field experience has taught us that most conflict is due instead to misalignment and a lack of clarity around strategies, success metrics, roles, cultural expectations, information sharing, and cross-function processes.

In other words, team building events rarely serve the purpose of breaking down silos over the long term when organizational strategies, structures and systems are at odds. If you are experiencing a "bunker mentality" across your organization, don't resort to superficial solutions like communication styles or conflict training. 

Invest the time to understand what's happening and take the steps required to align your functions for mutual success.

The Most Common Causes of Conflict

1. Unclear Strategies 
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of profitable revenue growth, customer loyalty, and employee engagement. To set the stage for collaboration, your strategies must be understood by your key stakeholders, believed in by those who must execute them, and implementable in your unique industry and culture.  

If you want to increase collaboration and reduce cross-unit conflicts, invest the time to define why the company, function or team does what it does and how specific and integrated actions should lead to superior performance. 

2. Conflicted Leadership Teams 
More often than not, it all starts at the top. Even subtle differences or confusion between leaders have a tendency to create conflicting and misaligned priorities, roles, and reward systems. If your leadership team is not 100% aligned and committed to what matters most and who does what, your chances of creating a culture of collaboration will be limited. 

If you want to increase collaboration and reduce cross-unit conflicts, invest the time to align your leadership team to common priorities and inter-dependencies.  



About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned


September 22, 2018

8 Reasons Leaders Need 360 Feedback

wire human figure

It is difficult to improve performance without feedback about what's working, and what's not.

360-degree feedback, a formal, structured process for soliciting feedback from coworkers, has grown in popularity. Done right, 360-degree feedback provides valuable insights that individuals typically cannot gain on their own. Not long ago, however, critics were calling 360-degree feedback a "performance-reviewing fad." 

Today, some estimates suggest 90% of US employers rely on 360 evaluations -though not all successfully. Let's start with why 360 feedback works and when it fails.

Why 360-Degree Feedback Works
Unfortunately, our own perceptions of ourselves are rarely accurate or predictive. Leaders need feedback from those around them (typically their boss, peers, direct reports, and others in the organization) if they want to gain an accurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses.  

Employers typically rely on 360-degree feedback to diagnose a variety of organizational issues, including turnover, productivity dips, lackluster morale, and stagnant growth. The idea behind 360-degree feedback is to collect feedback from different points of view including colleagues, supervisors, subordinates, partners, and clients. 

Done right, 360-degree feedback allows a person to get something that is often difficult to acquire - increased self-knowledge about how their behavior is viewed by those around them. This helps to shed a constructive light on key strengths, relevant weaknesses and potential blind spots. The process itself can help improve trust, communication, team development, career development, performance management, and self-awareness - a critical component to effective leadership and team work.

When 360-Degree Feedback Fails
For those of us with experience in 360-degree feedback, we have painfully learned that if 360-degree feedback isn't carefully executed and followed up on, it can do more harm than good to individuals, teams and those charged with administering and coaching to the feedback. 

Done wrong, 360-degree feedback can create problems when people are:  
  • Not getting feedback from at least 8-10 raters to maximize the reliability of the feedback
  • Unprepared or ill-equipped to hear and act upon candid feedback 
  • Left to sort through the feedback on their own without experienced support, context or a plan for improvement 
  • Not held accountable to follow-up actions to improve behaviors
8 Reasons Leaders Need 360 Feedback
Done right, however, 360-degree feedback offers powerful advantages to leaders looking to raise their level of performance.


Voice of the Customer
"I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership expertise and the quality of advice that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help assess and develop high performing leaders."
Tracy Esposito | Director | Zynga

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned