EVP/VP: On what strategic areas should our company focus?

While the CEO is accountable for and focused on strategy outcomes, his or her direct reports—vice presidents and executive vice presidents— focus on enabling the CEO to deliver those outcomes. At the 10,000-foot level, different VPs are responsible for varying strategic areas, where each area constitutes a strategic priority. These strategic areas in a typical organization may include:

  • Sales, bidding, and business development.
  • Product and service quality.
  • Safety.
  • Sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
  • Pricing and billing.
  • Ongoing service and support.
  • Communications.

If these strategic areas are not systematically prioritized, each VP is likely to focus only on the area for which he or she is responsible. This can lead to confusion and virtually ensures the VPs will be misaligned and depleting focus on key areas. Such confusion at the 10,000-foot level will eventually undermine the CEO’s ability to achieve the desired 100,000-foot strategy outcomes.

Collaborative for CUBES™ helps firms prioritize strategic areas based on their relative association to overall customer satisfaction. Collaborative for CUBES assigns specific weights to each strategic area so they can be prioritized in a way that is objective, evidence-based, and conflict free. For example, Collaborative for CUBES may identify pricing is twice as important as communications in driving strategy outcomes. As such, VPs may agree to focus their efforts on pricing to ensure success.

Collaborative for CUBES provides a built-in mechanism to benchmark the firm’s performance on each strategic area, specifically those designated as priorities. If pricing is determined to be twice as valuable as communications, CUBES 10,000 allows a firm to benchmark its performance on pricing relative to other strategic areas, among different divisions and units, and relative to competitors.

CUBES 10,000 not only helps VPs prioritize strategic areas that support overall strategy outcomes, but it also gauges performance on the strategic priorities. Doing so can ensure the VPs are aligned and focused. It also provides the CEO a transparent way to hold VPs accountable using customer-based metrics to benchmark performance.

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Data Suggests Customer Satisfaction the Only Road Back for Staples

Even as Staples announced the closure of 70 stores on March 9 – those on the heels of 48 store closures in 2016 and 242 in previous years – CEO Shira Goodman said she had reason for optimism.


“I am particularly proud of our ability to grow our delivery business by continuing to enhance our offering and satisfy our business customers,” she said in a meeting with investors.