Many companies understand the importance of strategic thinking, but this doesn’t mean leaders don’t run into challenges along the way. Leaders may face obstacles like limited resources, resistance from key stakeholders or employees not grasping the company’s long-term goals. It takes some serious resilience and adaptability to overcome these hurdles.

Stephanie Mead, senior vice president of the Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness, says the future won’t be any different from the way things are now if leaders keep doing the same things in the same waysTo win, she says, leaders must overcome the obstacles keeping them from acting strategically. We share her thoughts on the . obstacles to avoid in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Organizational misalignment. Mead points out research from Harvard Business Review that notes that 95% of employees in large organizations are either unaware of or don’t understand the strategies of the companies they work for. For companies to succeed, individual contributors need to understand the mission and the role they play in accomplishing that mission. Leaders have a significant impact on strategy being pushed down and throughout the organization, Mead says. When they know where to direct their strategic thinking and enroll people in the process for reaching those goals, the organization will achieve meaningful results and competitive advantage.

Managing a level down. Leaders are busy. It’s this lack of time that prevents many of them from being more strategic. If you look closer, though, Mead says this lack of time usually stems from managers not managing at their level. They might be doing the work that should or could be done by someone who reports to them. Not managing at the right level has a significant impact on a leader’s ability to manage their time and productivity and ultimately affects their capacity to spend time on strategic thinking and planning, Mead says. To create time and space for strategic thought and action, managers need to empower others by delegating regularly and allowing them to do the work.

Lacking skills and tools. Most leaders need to develop the skill of strategic thinking and planning. Mead says the first step is helping managers change their mindset from believing strategy isn’t their job to understanding that strategy is a critical part of their job. Then, she says, companies must be willing to provide the resources leaders need to develop their strategic thinking and planning competencies.

Strategic thinking is a key ingredient in your promo company’s success. Don’t let the roadblocks above get in the way of engaging in strategic thought regularly.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Stephanie Mead is the senior vice president of the Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness.