Use Collective Intelligence for More Effective Strategies

Aligning your organization on the strategy, early and often, is the best way to achieve your goals. Develop more effective strategies, faster, with ThoughtExchange.
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October 28, 2022

Sarah Rodrigues

How Enterprise Leaders are Achieving Their Strategic Goals

4 minutes
Effective strategic planning is critical to achieving business goals. But to realize true strategic alignment—and the financial benefits it offers—strategic plans need to incorporate the insights and garner the support of your entire organization. That’s where ThoughtExchange comes in.

Strategic planning for a fast-paced world

The old days of five-year strategic plans—or even one-year plans—are gone. The world moves too fast for static plans that take months to develop, and organizations need to build strategic planning processes that can keep up.
75%
75% of successful companies have a formal and pre-established system to inform on and manage their strategy.Source: Trissa Consulting
Using ThoughtExchange, leaders can leverage the collective intelligence of their employees in minutes, not months, to inform, refine, and align on a strategy.
ThoughtExchange is helping leaders win by including employees in the strategic decisions that affect them. Here’s how.
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World-class strategy without the first-class tickets

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Employees
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Interactions
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Weeks
A global telecom company asked employees, “What do we need to consider as we build our strategy?” In under two weeks, they heard from over 800 employees across 7 regions in 21 languages. The 10,000+ interactions ThoughtExchange facilitated would have taken over 5 months of non-stop meetings, countless flights, and many thousands of dollars to complete in person.

Interpret the data, not the languages

Automatic translation of thoughts ensures equitable participation across regions, and ensures no thoughts or participants are excluded. With 21 languages represented in this Exchange, leaders were confident the conversation was equitable and efficient
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Discover what’s more important, not more frequent

Themes help organize and rank participants’ responses, quickly revealing the team’s priorities. While surveys can show the frequency of a theme or keyword, ThoughtExchange takes it further by also showing how those themes are rated.

Employees at this organization frequently mentioned staff retention and product offerings. But when given the opportunity to rate other people’s responses, the data revealed that communication was more important to everyone, despite being mentioned less frequently. Survey technology only measuring frequency would have missed that important insight.

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Get results faster to make more effective decisions

Surveys, meetings, and focus groups leave leaders and their teams drowning in data. With ThoughtExchange, the high-level Leader Insight Report provides instant analysis, showing participation statistics, a summary of answers, and, most valuably, the team’s top priorities.

Using this report as a starting point, the telecom company leadership identified three key pillars to inform their strategic planning decisions. Not only was ThoughtExchange a more effective way to gather the data they needed, but the strategy that came from these insights was ultimately more effective because it had the team’s buy-in from the beginning.

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Strategic alignment sets organizations up for success

Strategic alignment is the process of lining up an organization's strategy with its culture. In an aligned organization, employees know and agree on what they are working toward, and how to get there. But when only 14% of employees understand their company’s strategy, there’s clearly a lot of work to do.

Aligning the team on your strategy, early and often, ensures teams are working towards their common goals, and are more likely to achieve them.

67%
67% of strategic planning fails because teams are not aligned around the actions and outcomes.Source: Inc.com

Refine and align for a strategy teams support

A global health services firm regularly asks its sales team how to improve its processes and help the teams meet their sales goals. In a series of Exchanges garnering up to 80% participation to date, teams first provide their ideas and suggestions for new processes and policies, then provide further input on the proposed changes to refine them into supported strategies.

Build strategic alignment into business processes

The entire purpose of the strategic alignment process is to build the support of the team executing the strategy, to deliver more effective results. By using Exchange scheduling and MS Teams integration, this organization can efficiently and routinely get input from the team on what is and isn’t working. Exchanges are scheduled quarterly to fit into their business model. These Exchanges can inform training needs, process updates, and strategy refinement to ensure everyone is aligned.
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Benchmark data to monitor effectiveness

Survey questions allow this organization to benchmark its data, so they can measure strategic alignment. By asking, “How confident are you that you will achieve your sales goals for this quarter?” leaders could see how employees felt about new processes and strategies. Increases in confidence over time (which correlate with a decreased attrition rate and increased Exchange participation) indicate increasing alignment with the new strategies.
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Engage employees for more effective strategies

Strategic alignment, built through collective intelligence, increases innovation, ensures buy-in, and gives employees a common goal they can work toward. Employees who feel involved in the strategy and outcomes of the business are 50% less likely to quit, and their organizations are 21% more profitable. So the question is, can you afford not to involve them?
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Building strategies everyone supports can significantly impact retention efforts.Find out how else leaders are addressing retention problems.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Sarah Rodrigues
Sarah Rodrigues has been a precocious reader and word nerd since age 4, and nothing has changed. A BA in English, combined with further education in marketing and business, allowed her to turn that love of writing into a career in Content Marketing. When she's not reading and writing, you'll find Sarah tending to the animals on her 5-acre hobby farm.

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