The Corporate Strategy: How an Executive Coach can Keep You on Track

CoachHub · 13 September 2022 · 7 min read

What is a corporate strategy?

A corporate strategy defines the aims and objectives of a business and how it intends to achieve them. It is both a statement of a company’s mission and a blueprint for its success.

A corporate strategy aims to answer the following questions:

  • What value do we aim to provide?
  • What is our unique offering to the market?
  • What are our objectives and milestones to success?
  • How will we achieve these goals?

A strong corporate vision is the vehicle behind the success of a business and can be the primary driver of a business’s ability to set and achieve goals.

Why is corporate strategy important?

The overall aim of a corporate strategy is to provide employees with clear objectives and a roadmap to achieve them. It is a vital tool in communicating a company’s vision, motivating employees and directing the company towards future success.


A sound corporate strategy unites all areas of the company on vision, mission and policy. It is the core statement of the company and creates centralized thinking on all levels. Strategies that are clearly defined unite teams and departments so they are all working towards a shared vision. The corporate strategy is the ‘big picture’ that aligns the entire company.

Company values

A clear corporate strategy not only clarifies a company’s values but ensures they are embedded into the company’s activities. Consistency in a company’s values and practices is a vital aspect of gaining trust in the market and workforce. When employees know what their company stands for, they know what to work towards. When consumers trust that a company follows through on its values, they are more likely to remain loyal.

Future vision

A strong vision for the future is an essential driver of success. A corporate strategy acts as a roadmap that provides employees with a clear vision of what to aim for. With defined objectives, individual departments can set actionable goals to ensure their success. Specific goals with measurable outcomes act as markers and milestones to guide a business towards achieving its mission.

Change Management

Businesses must be flexible and adapt to fluctuations in markets and economies. A corporate strategy is the voice a company needs to know how to adapt during times of change. SHRM defines change management as “the process of continually renewing an organization’s direction, structure and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers.” An agile corporate strategy is the source of communication that defines the ever-adapting direction, structure and practices of an organization.

corporate strategy

The four pillars of corporate strategy

1. Visioning

The initial phase of corporate strategy is defining the vision, mission and values of the company. This stage involves detailing the direction the organization wants to take and what it wants to achieve. It is recommended that the visioning process goes “3 to 5 years into the future” and should involve a wide range of key managerial heads within the organization. The primary question to be answered during this process is: How does leadership see the company evolving in the future?

2. Objective setting

The next phase requires taking the vision you have defined and setting high-level objectives for the organization. Objective setting defines each department’s top priorities and ensures all areas of the business are working towards the same goal. Each objective should be measurable and act as a guidepost in achieving the company’s overall vision. This phase should answer the question: What will the company will to achieve its mission?

3. Resource allocation

Resource allocation involves taking each objective and assigning adequate resources, human and capital, to ensure its success. This phase of developing a corporate strategy is about ensuring the most efficient allocation of resources possible. It is the planning, managing and assigning of each resource to maximize its utility. The question the resource allocation phase must answer is: How can the organization use its resources most efficiently to ensure it achieves its objectives?

4. Prioritization

The final pillar of corporate strategy is the consideration of risk and return across the organization. This phase must involve identifying the strategic tradeoffs necessary to ensure its success. Prioritization is about finding the balance between risk management and return generation. The final question to be answered during this phase is: What decisions does the company need to make to ensure the greatest balance between risk and return?

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The different levels of corporate strategy

A corporate strategy must address the concerns facing each level of the organization and create a unified strategy to direct all departments.

“For conventional organizations with a clear hierarchy, three levels of strategy are necessary to enable clear division of labor and accountability”, Chengwei Liu.

First is the level of corporate strategy and refers to the top-level decisions that ensure the overall goal of the company is achieved. The next level is the business strategy level which covers questions regarding the business’s offering. This level should define how the organization will gain a competitive advantage and add unique value to the marketplace. The final level is the functional level strategy which governs how the individual functions of the organization will operate and contribute to the larger mission of the company.

The following list details the questions each level of a corporate strategy should address:

Corporate strategy level

  • What are the vision, mission and values of our company?
  • How do we manage diversification demands?
  • What is our geographic strategy?
  • Where do we position ourselves in the global marketplace?

Business strategy level

  • What do our customers need and want?
  • What gives us a competitive advantage in our market?
  • What is our unique selling proposition and how do we communicate it?
  • Can our target market pay a higher price for higher quality?
  • Do we have the resources to produce a high-quality good or service at scale?

Functional strategy level

  • What role does each department play in achieving the company-wide goals?
  • How can department heads ensure their daily operations align with the overall corporate strategy?
  • How do we translate organizational-level strategy into strategies at the functional level?
  • How do we facilitate feedback from a functional level to an organizational level?

How can an executive coach help?

Finding the answers to these questions at every level can demand a lot of time and resources. Seeking professional help from an executive coach can help the process become more efficient and effective. An executive coach helps companies to define their vision, mission and values while guiding executives to implement effective strategies.

Define your corporate strategy

An executive is an experienced professional who will have a wealth of knowledge and experience in strategic planning. An executive coach can help to define your corporate strategy and relieve the resource drain on executives. Working with an executive coach will allow key employees to come together and confidently set the strategic direction of the company while getting objective feedback.

Keep you on track

A strong corporate strategy has clearly defined milestones with short and long-term goals. An executive coach is there to ensure that your business remains on target and on track to achieving its objectives. Executive coaches help set realistic and structured deadlines while monitoring a business’s progress along the way.

Identify key strengths and weaknesses

An executive coach provides an objective perspective on your company’s position and performance. Working with a coach can be the fresh pair of eyes needed to identify where the company is thriving and lacking. Such an honest and accurate appraisal can be difficult to achieve when done from inside an organization. The analysis of an objective party can highlight areas of potential that may be overlooked.

Strategic advantage

An executive coach is trained to develop competitive business strategies and will have experience helping companies in similar industries. Executive coaching enables a thorough discussion of key business issues and top priority objectives. Goals are then set by a top strategy expert to ensure the most effective plan for your organization. This inevitably gives your corporate strategy a strategic advantage and your organization a competitive edge.

In conclusion

A corporate strategy unites a business on its ideal purpose and direction. All key areas of the business must contribute and communicate effectively to design an effective strategy. Working with an executive coach can facilitate this collaboration and ensures all areas of the business are included. A strong corporate strategy is a vital driver of a business’s success. Professional coaching to guide the process is a worthwhile investment.

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Cathy Stapleton
Cathy is an Irish writer based in Berlin, Germany who is passionate about using words to inspire growth. As a certified mindfulness facilitator and performance coach, Cathy aims to create work that helps people connect with themselves and heighten their awareness. When she is not writing she is usually running in nature, meditating or contemplating an existential crisis.

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