What Is a Strategic Imperative? Meaning, Roles, 4 Facts

A Strategic Imperative is a business objective or goal that drives the direction of a company’s activities. It serves as a lens through which the business’ performance and value are viewed. The article below will tell you all the information about it in the most specific way. 

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

Strategic imperatives focus on essential initiatives and objectives inside an organization that are high-impact activities that can be accomplished using a clearly defined systematic methodology and assist the firm achieve its goals within a specified period.

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

Strategic imperatives, usually referred to as strategic plans or corporate initiatives, are multifunctional in nature. All contributing activities must be aligned, and resources must be directed to the activities with the greatest impact.

To track the organization’s progress toward attaining these Strategic Imperatives, it is necessary to identify and aggregate measures of the activities in question.

When the risks, business performance balanced scorecard, and preparedness compliance restrictions connected with these tasks are not identified and their relationship to Strategic Imperatives is not communicated, target attainment is at risk.

7 Strategic Imperatives For Great Leadership

Coaching, Not Commanding

It is not commonplace for individuals in management roles to be promoted or hired on the basis of their track record, subject matter knowledge, or tenure. Sometimes all of the aforementioned occur.

Typically, they have been a great performer inside a certain area, therefore it was natural to put them in charge of that division.

I am familiar with this procedure, since I have performed it several times before. What is often ignored, however, is their true capacity to lead, coach, mentor, and encourage others to take action and attain outcomes.

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

The manager of today must possess leadership skills. Why? Because it directly affects the engagement of their workforce.

And as most of us are aware, the statistics indicates that only around 34% of a company’s employees are actually engaged, with the remainder being either passively or actively disengaged.

While it would be ideal if all employees in a company had a strong emotional connection to the business’s general culture, values, and goals, it is more common for them to identify more closely with the subculture and tone created by their immediate boss. Therefore, managers are required to have coaching skills.

How do managers develop this ability? Through personal investment in coaching, mentoring, and leadership development. And research indicates that in the highest-performing firms, top leaders devote time and resources to strengthening their managers’ (at all levels) leadership skills.

Adaptation Without Chaos

On both the battlefields of combat and business, the capacity to adapt is crucial. As opposed to real adaptability, however, we frequently observe leaders creating an atmosphere of conflicting agendas and ever-changing objectives.

This results in disorder, confusion, and misalignment regarding the goals and priorities that must be pursued. Especially when the “why” has not been expressed.

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

Often, high-performers who are handled in this manner (note I did not say “guided”) will take on ALL of the new projects, resulting in severe exhaustion and significant turnover.

Great leaders generate alignment behind the vision and goal and only adjust course when the data and external conditions demand it. When they decide to adapt to a shifting environment, they (1) get feedback from the team, (2) create an amended battle plan, (3) guarantee total alignment, (4) eliminate obstacles, (5) deprioritize other goals as necessary, and (6) execute.

Everyone is aware of the reason for the change, and buy-in has been established. Thus, chaos and confusion are eliminated, and participation and activity are increased.

Versatile Communication

Communication is a crucial ability that we help our clients develop. What does that actually entail in the context of producing leaders? It may be broken down into three categories: emotional intelligence, adaptability to other styles, and motivation theory comprehension.

The most effective leaders take the effort to comprehend both the motivations and preferred communication methods of every team member. This necessitates an elevated degree of emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, relationship management, and societal awareness.

They are very adept at adapting their conversation to the circumstances. They can swiftly interpret the environment and have emotional control. These abilities do not come naturally, which is why the finest leaders make it a priority to practice them regularly.

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

Fostering Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is the shared idea that the team is safe to take interpersonal risks. It is the ability to present and utilize oneself without fear of unfavorable self-image, status, or career consequences.

In psychologically secure teams, members feel valued and appreciated. In group dynamics and team learning research, it is also the most researched enabling condition.

Regardless of rank, all members of the SEAL Teams have a voice. It is an integral component of our after-action review procedure, feedback loops, and learning culture. The finest leaders cultivate this climate, allowing their followers to perform at their highest levels.

Balance Centralized and Decentralized Controls

Leadership and decision-making must sometimes be centralized or dispersed in any high-performing organization.

Long-term goals, cohesion, and consistency are strengthened through centralized decision-making. However, where speed of implementation is essential, decentralized decision-making is preferable.

Decentralization fosters a culture where autonomy flourishes and participation soars to new heights.

But before you go and “assign” a bunch of tasks to a bunch of people, there are a few crucial core characteristics you must possess: leadership ability, talent, and resources. Without preparing the team for success, we cannot establish a genuine atmosphere or autonomy.

Those we lead must be equipped with the necessary skills and resources to execute. In addition, they require a psychologically secure atmosphere because mistakes are inevitable.

When excellent leaders opt to decentralize choices or initiatives when things do not go according to plan, they enable the team or person to continue with the plan.

Here is where coaching returns to play a role. They do not abandon the project or decision because they are aware that doing so would erode trust, morale, and motivation.

Create a Culture of Accountability

The finest leaders comprehend that responsibility is the most important cultural foundation for every organization.

Accountability begins at the top when exceptional leaders accept full responsibility for the team’s shortcomings and delegate accolades down the chain of command.

When everyone adopts the team’s guiding principles and behavioral standards and adheres to the clearly stated accountability systems, a culture of accountability is established.

All of which are intended to produce certain outcomes. What do you think? This genuinely enhances morale, motivation, performance, and profitability!

Build Trust from the Top and Bottom

The second most crucial cultural pillar of successful teams is trust. In both directions. Certainly, those at the top must be able to have faith in those below them.

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

However, in the most effective teams, trust grows from the bottom up. Due to servant leadership, consistency, communication, and follow-through, all study indicates that the best businesses exhibit a high level of leadership trust.

Productivity and employee engagement are the two aspects of a business most affected by trust. And because we’ve demonstrated that involvement is both a challenge and an opportunity for leaders, why not make developing trust a fundamental strategic priority for every organization?

Roles Of  a strategic perspective

From a strategic viewpoint, a firm identifies the goals, objectives, and targets that are essential to its operations or the achievement of its most essential outcomes. The identification of an aim, goal, or objective as a strategic imperative places it at the top of the staff’s to-do list.

It is how a corporation instructs its staff to put first things first. Without this prioritization method, employees may impose their own paradigm on the task list, resulting in minor or irrelevant jobs being prioritized over those that effect the bottom line.

A business may have a single strategic imperative or numerous imperatives relating to various divisions.

For instance, the corporation as a whole may have one strategic imperative, yet the marketing department may work under its own imperative that supports the company-wide imperative.

In order for the designation to function as a mandate, every employee must be able to recognize the strategic imperative of the organization.

What Does a Management Consultants can Help?

A strategic imperative may be identified and refined with the assistance of management consultants. Without a clear focus and with everyone working under the same set of goals, firms face one of the most difficult management challenges.

What Is a Strategic Imperative?

Consultants can guide CEOs through a series of activities to map out essential operations and align them to crucial existing and prospective income streams. Once imperatives have been determined, they can also assist personnel in maintaining focus.


A strategic imperative is a high-priority corporate objective, goal, or objective. Frequently, businesses participate in strategic planning that assesses the enterprise as a whole and outlines a course of action. This form of planning assists firms in better managing their present and future operations.

Part of this process involves setting goals, objectives, and targets for the organization as a whole, and frequently for particular departments and job roles.

A strategic imperative is the one item that must be completed before everything else for a corporation to achieve its goals.


A Strategic Imperative, simply put, is a clearly defined outcome essential to achieve growth goals. For example, it could be a basis for product uniqueness (e.g., a defensible patent). Or it could be distribution leverage (e.g., an exclusive arrangement with a respected retailer).
A common definition for a “strategic imperative” is that it is a business goal or objective that has the highest priority. That’s where the danger lies: in reacting to the current fires to put out, by making the act of putting them out the most important mandates for the organization.
A business imperative typically works when management identifies an opportunity or objective they want to achieve; develops a strategy, or plan of action, to make it happen; and then outlines the imperative for all employees, who work together to complete the imperative and achieve success.
The environment and workforce have evolved – and will continue to do so – which means we as leaders must be in a constant state of self-awareness and improvement. Here are seven strategic imperatives for great leadership.
From a strategic perspective, a business identifies those goals, objectives or targets that are critical to its operations or to obtaining its most important results. The strategic imperative designation moves a target, goal or objective to the top of the staff’s to-do list.
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Pat Moriarty
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