A Blog by Leaders Laboratory

Leaders Laboratory is a collaborative experimentation to discover and deploy a powerful growth catalyst for forward-thinking CEOs.

Which Comes First…Strategy or Structure?

Strategic planning is the ‘what’ people do together to create a future.  Culture is ‘why’ people want to associate with you to create that future together.  We can have a strategic plan that may be the best and greatest direction but if the people don’t want to help you it won’t happen.  The other way also works, if we have a great culture – the possibilities are endless.  We need both strategy and culture to fit together to get the expected results.

As we add people, the complexity of ‘how’ we get work done changes.  As we grow, we add people.  As we add people we put in processes to help the people better communicate.  The main purpose of any executive team is to provide direction for continued growth and development of the firm.

My role is to assist the executive team in developing a sound strategy and structure to support the intended growth.  With that, I want to provide a process for measuring the success of your strategic planning efforts.

Strategy or Structure are part of the same growth strategy.  Here are the steps for Evolution of Growth.

Step 1        It all starts with a Mission/Vision/Purpose, Core Values, and a passion to add value

Step 2       We then develop a structure for finding/getting work and then for getting work done, as we grow we add people and complexity

Step 3       We add, update, or upgrade our processes to accommodate for the changes in people.  Process are used to communicate standards of control, scalability, and repeatability.

Step 4       Now adjust the strategy to leverage the new level of expertise and processes in our company and the opportunities with our customers

Repeat steps above…

Then what?  

How does information flow through your company?

A company’s organizational structure should be ever changing, just like the movement with your strategic plan.  A strategic plan is a plan for growth that best leverages your resources.  Over the past few years organizations have found difficulty in retaining employees. I have noticed their strategic plans are not robust enough to retain employees or the strategic plan hasn’t been updated to reflect the best utilization of the company resources – its people.  Therefore, companies are under utilizing the knowledge base within their own companies!  The traditional organizational structure builds and supports silos so information is controlled and knowledge isn’t shared.  Many times the outside world has better access to what is going on inside our own companies.  Our best people leave to add value somewhere else if your structures doesn’t allow for people to add value.

Your competitive advantage is your people!

I am a teaching consultant who will focus on teaching your team how to work on your business together.  We create a common vision and the right priorities that only an executive team can make happen.  We spend one day per quarter focusing ON the business NOT IN the business.  We begin with a 2-day session to provide a common understanding and foundation for operating, and determine who will do what by when to make the needle move.  We then meet in 90 days to review progress and stops in getting the strategic plan in place.  We found a consistent rhythm has the greatest impact on developing your executive/advisory team to focus on the right things!




    Five Crucial Techniques for Doubling Revenue

    In visiting with some of the world’s top sales and marketing thought leaders, as well as CEOs whose firms are seeing dramatic increases in revenue during this downturn, several actionable ideas have emerged which you can act on immediately. 1. Dramatically Reduce Sales Cycle Time, nothing improves cash flow and revenue more than reducing your […]


      We Are Born Dreamers…

      If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “how did you get the opportunity to really do what you wanted to do?”  I would have millions!  So many people go to the college their parents went to, they get the first job their ‘suppose to get’ and they think they are on […]


        How To Be an Efficient and Effective CEO

        PART II: The One-to-One: How to Coach Your Direct Reports This is the second in a three-part series on how CEO’s can become more focused, efficient and effective in their role as CEO. Part one is The Six Essential Roles of the CEO. In today’s business environment, one of the most important roles CEOs can […]


          That’s a Game Changer…

          Strategy is about hitting the target in the center every time!  Recently, I was asked to review a couple of strategic plans  because they weren’t getting the results they had hoped for.  Some might say it is all in the execution.  Some would say the strategy isn’t right.  Some would say we have the wrong […]


            How To Execute Your Strategy

              “Culture will eat strategy for breakfast every day” stated by Peter Drucker.  You can have the best strategy, yet if the people don’t want to do it, they won’t!  Execution, execution, execution – how do we make that happen?  All the companies I am working with are showing dramatic growth!  Which leads to weak […]


              What does a CEO think and talk about?

              CEO’s who know how to make money are getting together to focus on the challenges of fast growth.  Confidential, experienced, seasoned CEO’s (10 years experience), who want to create a strong, new future for their companies, their employees, and their communities are meeting monthly in the Detroit area. Leaders Laboratory is a collaborative and energetic […]


                What if Everyone in Your Company Thought Like A CEO?

                After thirty years of working with over  1000’s of CEO’s in eight different countries with revenue from $35 million to $800 million people always ask,  “Is the way a CEO thinks really different than how others think?”  My answer is “the good ones always think different than anyone else.” CEO’S and managers at all levels need […]