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A Guide to Strategic Decision Making in Hybrid Leadership Teams


The hybrid revolution

Hybrid working is here to stay. The revolution has already come, causing upheaval for many businesses unprepared for the change. The pandemic affecting the world has pushed the reality of hybrid work into the spotlight.

Hybrid working had been growing more popular as businesses adapted to meet the ever-changing needs of their increasingly digital workforce. But now it’s well and truly arrived. That change was sudden and swift for many, but what was business-critical before remains so now. Leadership still need to make strategic decisions that affect the long-term success of your business. And they can do this remotely just as easily as they could in person.

By adapting to the hybrid revolution, businesses become more agile and better prepared to work with this new paradigm shift.

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99% of workers said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time, for the rest of their career

Buffer, 2019

What is strategic decision-making?

To align your workforce and wider business towards one long-term goal, first you need to clarify and communicate it. Strategic decision-making is the collaborative process of forging a path for your business – roadmapping – based on your company vision.

Your teams can still do this while working remotely. But collaboration has never been more important, and the role of the c-suite executives has changed somewhat.

The traditional method of producing a series of presentations to show a business plan has become stale and antiquated. Dynamic, ‘live’ changes are the order of the day.


27% of employees and 42% of managers have access to their company’s strategic plan.

Organisational Synergies

Effective strategic planning drives the decision-making process, but the planning process itself is outdated. Many companies have become agile and innovative, and that same agility and innovation can be applied to strategic decision-making to make it more engaging and circumvent some of its current problems.

The stagnation of decision-making

When it comes to decision-making, collaboration is key. Ensuring all voices are heard at the c-suite level is crucial to coming to a decision that pushes the entire business towards its primary goal.

However, it’s possible that strategic planning is being wasted on a system that’s ineffective, and not aligned with how your business operates. If strategic planning doesn’t drive decision-making, it isn’t working. No one will come to an effective decision if your strategy planning consists of static, dull, and ill-prepared presentations. Without the right preparation, no decision will be made, and time is wasted.

Information needs to be dynamic. You don’t want to be left waiting between meetings for people to create additional material to answer your questions. If you can dynamically alter the roadmap as you discuss it, it removes any potential surprises and keeps everyone on the same page.

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Moving away from static presentations

Many businesses still use outdated PowerPoint presentations when attempting a strategic conversation. But as a tool, it’s inherently static. Putting multiple presentations together can be a tedious exercise. That tedium ends up reflected in such stale deliveries that presentations become status updates as opposed to being the driving force of a strategic conversation.

Executives will ask strategic questions that won’t necessarily have simple answers. They’ll enquire about a connection or relationship between tactical items, and the number of static slides needed to capture all of the information you could need is incalculable. If there’s no answer in your presentation, the executives’ time is being wasted without that visibility.



When moving away from these static presentations, value and power are key. Your software should be as fluid as the strategic conversations it’s facilitating.

When people are discussing strategic items, there are a lot of ‘whatifs’ and plans for the next few years. Static presentations can’t cope with so many avenues being discussed – you need different models to make decisions with.


The role of leadership in a hybrid-working world

Making strategic decisions while remote working is possible, but it asks something new of those at the executive level. It’s more important than ever that executives ensure work from individual contributors is completed, and that c-suite decisions are effectively communicated from the top down.

The working environment is a very different place at the moment. There’s little opportunity for c-suite executives to walk around the office, get involved in water cooler conversations, and gauge whether everyone is moving in the same direction.

Now, when it comes to the business goals being set out in decision-making meetings, executives must reinforce to individual contributors that those goals are being pushed for. By sharing specific examples as to how the work done at a tactical level is connected to overall strategy goals, executives can keep the focus on the business roadmap.

The importance of having a virtual workspace

For strategic decision-making to work, collaboration is a must. Before remote working became the norm, people in the office could see the executives gathered, steering the business towards its goals. Now, that isn’t happening.

Having a virtual workspace is vital to ensure people remain connected. When attempting strategic conversation or trying to establish a roadmap for the company’s longer-term strategic goals, collaboration is necessary. Creating and providing that virtual workspace for your team keeps productivity high and simulates the feeling of being in the office.

Although the remote working landscape looks different, it’s possible to closely replicate a sense of the office. This allows c-suite executives to gather, discuss, and strategic plan even when working remotely. And with the right tools at their disposal, their leadership is just as effective.

‘I’ve been tasked with recalibrating my leadership practices and translating shared company values in new ways and through new mediums…I’ve come to learn how to be a more present leader.’

Mark McClain
CEO and co-founder, SailPoint


Justifying the change

Many businesses have had to make big changes to adapt to remote working, and their leadership teams can keep advancing business strategy and long-term goals while doing so. But many organizations are afraid of change, and more importantly, are afraid of spending money to get there.

It can sometimes be difficult for businesses to justify technology investments. However, conducting strategic conversations with PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets is putting your business at huge risk. By not giving executive teams the visibility over where you’re spending money, and how successful a particular area might be over the next six months, it’s tough to plan ahead.

The problem is, most businesses already have Excel and PowerPoint, so they get used to running processes like that. These tools are so ubiquitous that businesses use them by default and end up settling with their flaws. It’s difficult for them to break out of the habit of using them, even when there’s a better option. Change only happens when there’s:

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If executives feel that discomfort or pain within their business and its processes, they’re likely to change immediately.

The challenge for executives is convincing stakeholders that investing in change is worth it. When introducing new technology, it’s up to the executives to explain why it’s so important, and why they’re asking their team to work differently.The c-suite level executives already understand the value. The problem lies in communicating it down to contributors

Technology that makes sense

When companies had to adapt to a remote working environment, adopting certain technologies ‘made sense’ from a business perspective. For example, Zoom allows team members to remain connected, even when apart.

A tool that enables your business to visualize strategic goals makes sense but changes the way people work. There’s an enormous amount of pain at the end user level to create a view in PowerPoint that gives executives exactly what they need to make strategic decisions. Using this old method means it takes time to implement any suggestions or changes brought on in meetings, and these are conversations that executives are constantly having. But when using a new tool, like SharpCloud, the ability to instantaneously make a change in a meeting when someone asks a question is very valuable.

Modern solutions like SharpCloud transform how people work. While executives might be wary of change in such disruptive times, that change is definitely worth it.

How SharpCloud brings change

Excel and PowerPoint aren’t made for top-level strategic planning. You can represent financial data at a tactical level in a spreadsheet. But people are then being asked to mimic the high-level connections across strategy goals and influences inside a PowerPoint. Because it’s nearly impossible to have all the necessary information in one presentation, failing to answer a question in a meeting ends the dialogue. Because the executives never saw the connection or had the visibility, you’ve missed the chance to hold a strategic conversation.

This is where a digital tool like SharpCloud comes in, and why it’s so valuable. It allows you to dynamically change the views of a strategic conversation. This is done through the flexibility of showing all the different connections that could be happening. A tool like SharpCloud enables the conversation to drive the presentation, rather than the other way around. Rather than shifting from slide to slide, you’re able to change the views that are dictating the questions live and with ease.

The key is in how SharpCloud transforms decision-making meetings. As you’re demonstrating a solution, executives can visualize which partners are becoming more strategic and more important. Such visibility is nearly impossible on a spreadsheet.


Reinforce behaviours

Since the beginning of the pandemic, leadership teams have been asking people to change the way they work, and with the rise in remote working, a lot of people at the c-suite level are seeing the power of a digital tool like SharpCloud.

However, many executives are simply used to seeing information presented in a static way and are happy to continue doing so. To foster an environment where people embrace technology and operational change, executives need to set an example for the rest of their team.


Benefits of strategic roadmapping software

Using modern, strategic roadmapping software like SharpCloud grants you many benefits when it comes to remote decision-making. When compared to static presentations, a modern tool is dynamic, easy to use, and promotes collaboration between users.

A roadmapping tool can show you the current state of your business, the defined goal your team is striving towards, and how you’ll get there.

A tool like SharpCloud gives your c-suite executive team insight and visibility into your data relationships, connections, timelines, and more, while allowing for real-time, live changes to be made on the fly.

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Live, dynamic amends

You can import your data from spreadsheets, freeing it from the restrictive, static format. This makes it more accessible for the whole team and allows you to build a bespoke and dynamic story from the data you have. This story showcases the relationships between the data as and when they appear.

“My organization uses SharpCloud to manage our product development projects, resulting in a 10%increase in efficiency. We use SharpCloud to display and leverage data from other line of business tools;J IRA, JIRA Confluence, MS Office Project, CRM system and SAP. This provides us with a single source of truth.”

Diana Grauer, Ph. D
Vice President of Engineering, Hoerbiger


Creating a roadmap and engaging in strategic conversation to outline the long-term goals of a business is inherently a collaborative process. Your team members can continue the adjustments after the meeting has ended, with the flexibility of the software making it feel as though they’re working alongside you, even when working remotely.

Encouraging co-creation among the team is vital when working apart and ensuring teams remain connected is key to making sure everyone is working towards the same goal. Comments, thoughts, and queries can be added to the dynamic story every step of the way. Unlike static PowerPoint presentations or Excel spreadsheets, this software allows for true collaboration in that questions can be implemented into the flow immediately.

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Data visualization

Perhaps the biggest difference between modern roadmapping software and traditional presentation tools is in the visuals. Your plans are communicated expertly, with a comprehensive suite of data visualization tools that include templates, timelines, and dashboards.

By visualizing your strategy this way, it becomes much easier to communicate it when working remotely.

Leadership teams are empowered to make smarter strategic decisions when they have instantaneous information at their disposal, transforming a dull, unwieldly presentation into a compelling strategic narrative.

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‘SharpCloud helps us break the silo mentality and is customizable to different levels in the organization.’

David Shipp
Network Rail


Strategic decision-making is difficult when all you’ve got is a static presentation or spreadsheet, let alone making those changes from a home environment without your team. It doesn’t promote collaboration, and it wastes time and money, with executives getting hung up on questions that can’t be answered at the time.

A modern roadmapping tool like SharpCloud enables your team to work alongside you with effective collaboration tools, dynamic, realtime changes, and powerful visualization. It removes the pain points for the end users and empowers people to make those businesses decisions from home that outline the future of an organization.

Discover the suite of decision-making features found in SharpCloud that make it a modern necessity for businesses.

Change isn’t something to be feared - the world has already undergone enormous change. SharpCloud keeps your business focused on what’s important – its goals.

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