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  • Roz Thornton

How companies can answer the critical question - 'how will we succeed?'


How will we succeed? is the fourth of seven critical questions we ask leadership teams to consider when helping them to gain clarity and become aligned around the organisation’s values, purpose and strategy. To answer the question, the team must start with company’s overarching plan of action or path to success - its' strategy.


What are strategic anchors?

Strategic anchors, as described by Patrick Lencioni in ‘The Advantage’, provide the context for all decision making within an organisation. A leadership team should identify three strategic anchors to provide a filter through which all company decisions are evaluated. They are identified by distilling down, and simplifying, the organisation’s strategy.


A much-quoted example is that of Southwest Airlines in the United States. Their strategic anchors are:

· Low cost fares

· Excellent customer service · Always on time


These strategic anchors identify the three things that Southwest Airlines must always achieve. The leadership team determined them by taking the company’s core purpose and making it practical and accessible for everyone within the organisation. As a result, Southwest Airlines has empowered its employees to use the strategic anchors to make customer-related decisions every day.


Why should leadership teams identify strategic anchors?

When a leadership team is clear on the company’s strategy, it can distinguish clearly between opportunities and distractions, decide what’s important and focus on doing it especially well. The strategic anchors, once identified, will help the team to evaluate every decision it makes for the organisation, while giving them the clarity to ignore distractions and remain on course with the strategy.


In summary, Strategic anchors:

  • · Help to make the company strategy more practical

  • · Are a simple way for the leadership team to achieve clarity, make decisions and grow the organisation

  • · Align the leadership team and make sure it achieves the company’s goals


If you would like to learn more about our work helping leadership teams to become aligned around your organisation’s purpose, values and strategy, email us or call +44 (0) 7768 770987.

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