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The Case for Strategy Certifications

Why?”…a simple, three-letter word that a three-year old can utilize with unbelievable tenacity when not getting satisfactory answers.  Merriam-Webster defines “why” as for what cause, reason, or purpose.  The answers to “why?” range from simplistic, easy to understand responses to the complicated and problematic obstacles faced in every facet of our world today.

Would a CEO of a multi-million-dollar company be comfortable with a CFO who had no credentials in finance or accounting?  Would they be comfortable with project managers overseeing multi-million-dollar projects who are not certified or trained in project management?  How about hiring someone to oversee the construction of your new $865 million bridge project who isn’t a certified civil engineer (ASCE)?  Most likely, the answer is “No!”

Certification is a significant achievement that not all professionals in any given field are able to achieve.  Certification shows an individual is motivated, skilled, and knowledgeable; has developed expertise in their respective field; and finally, holds the individual to a higher standard than their non-certified counterpart.  It signals an individual’s ability to their employer they are ready to take on a higher level of commitment, responsibility, and accountability within the organization.

So “Why?”, the question begs, would you not want the individuals in charge of charting the course for your organization’s future success to be certified?  “Why” would you even consider putting someone in charge of strategy without the proper background, credentials, training, and certification?

Strategy, at its root, is basically about a set of choices and adjustments an organization must make concerning where to invest, where to compete and where to win.  Formulating the right strategic plan is the basis, the core that determines the fate, the success or failure, of the organization.  Even when equipped with a solid strategy, 67% of organizations still fail to successfully execute their strategy.

When asked, many organizations say they talk about strategy, alignment, key performance indicators and motivating individuals to connect with their strategy.  The truth of the matter is most executives are simply too busy dealing with internal issues to really spend much time on strategy.  One recent study reported 85% of leadership teams spend less than one hour a month discussing their strategy.

Even if taking time to talk about strategy, talking alone will not get the job done.  You need trained professionals who understand the intricacies of strategy implementation and execution.  While utilizing individuals certified in strategic planning models such as the balanced scorecard and others, this, in and of itself is no guarantee of success.  But having trained and certified strategists in your organization will assist in equipping employees, managers, and leaders with a deeper understanding of what must be done to ensure success.  Ultimately, the ability to formulate and execute a solid strategic plan while being able to accomplish organizational alignment and employee buy-in just might give you the competitive advantage you have been looking for.

The final question of today is “Why” would you let a doctor who is not a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon perform open-heart surgery on you?  Easy question to answer…you wouldn’t!!  Strategy, when integrated into an organizational culture, becomes the heartbeat of your organization.  “Why” would you entrust someone who isn’t a certified strategy professional with oversight of such a critical part of your organization and its future?

Get the people in charge of your strategy trained and certified. We offer several certifications that can help with any aspect of your strategy. All certifications are offered as public workshops or as customized in-house training virtually or in-person.

Balanced Scorecard Certification:  https://www.kpi.org/training-certification/balanced-scorecard-certification-online/

KPI Certification:  https://www.kpi.org/training-certification/kpi-certification-live-online/


Executives Fail to Execute Strategy Because They’re Too Internally Focused, Ron Carucci, 2017, Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2017/11/executives-fail-to-execute-strategy-because-theyre-too-internally-focused

94 Mind-Blowing Strategy Execution Stats, Hasse Jansen, 2016, Retrieved from: https://boardview.io/blog/strategy-execution-stats/


Terry is Balanced Scorecard Institute's Director of Training and Senior Associate with over 30 years of experience working in both the private and public sectors.

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