Strategy Development is the critical leadership activity that can align your whole business around a clear vision, a focused set of product and market priorities, a compelling source of competitive advantage and an achievable plan to deliver it. An effective strategy can inspire and empower your people to continuously create and deliver your organisation's competitive edge. When strategy goes wrong, we see organisations throwing money at problems to retain key customers, high levels of internal conflict and missed targets for financial performance. Strategy is the foundation of organisational success.
Do we really need a new strategy?
We have found that any strategy engagement starts with humility. That is, a recognition among one or more of your leaders that, whatever your recent performance, the business could always be better. If you are humble about your success, you are open to seeing new ways that it can be improved. The opposite of humility is arrogance, the root cause of most organisational downfalls.
We find, therefore, that the right question is not "Do you have a strategy?". There are very few leaders that have been in their role for any length of time that would admit to not having any form of strategy.
Instead, the humble question a leader should ask is, 'Do we have an effective strategy?". This question requires deeper reflection and an openess to alternative perspectives. To help Leaders assess their current strategy, we use the following strategy 'health check' to ascertain the extent to which a new or modified strategy could be required:
- The Alignment test: Were all members of your leadership team involved in creating the current strategy for the organisation? Do they collectively support it?
- The Clarity test: Is the strategy understood by the majority of your employees? Do most understand the daily behaviours that they need to demonstrate to support the strategy?
- The Uncertainty test: Have the major environmental and competitive assumptions that sit behind your strategy been debated, supported with relevant data and clearly articulated? Are they regularly reviewed?
- The Focus test: Are the boundaries of your strategic focus clear in terms of which customers you will serve and which products you will provide for them? Have out-of-scope strategic possibilities been agreed?
- The Priority test: Are the product-market priorities and non-priorities clear enough to support effective and aligned resource allocation across the business?
- The Customer Intimacy test: Has your strategy in each customer segment been influenced by real feedback and data from customers across the end-to-end product lifecycle?
- The Competitive advantage test: Is your intended source of competitive advantage in each key customer segment clear, compelling, achievable and sustainable?
- The Ambition test: Has the level of financial ambition in each customer segment been agreed? Is there alignment between your available resource and your ambition?
- The Execution test: Have clear programmes of work been defined that will allow you to deliver shifts in product-market emphasis, enhance your competitive advantage and realise your financial and non-financial ambitions?
- The Engagement test: Is there an organisational communication process that allows for continual conveyance of key strategic messages and receipt of critical employee and customer feedback?
- The Governance test: Is there a clear and accountable process for tracking the on-time, on-budget execution of your critical initiatives, the accuracy of your key assumptions and the progress against your strategic ambitions?
Gaps in one or more of these key tests for strategic health would normally be a strong indicator that your organisation would benefit from further strategy development or implementation planning activity.
We have found that any strategy engagement starts with humility. That is, a recognition among one or more of your leaders that, whatever your recent performance, the business could always be better.
How we work with you
If you're looking for the kind of strategy consultants that will take away your customer and financial data, spend months analysing it in a dark room and then present your leaders with 'the right answer', we may not be for you.
Our approach to Strategy Development is quite different. We faciliate your Leadership Team through the key strategic decisions, asking the right questions, encouraging constructive debate and constantly challenging the data and insight that you share. Without fear of internal politics or hidden agendas, we can help your business to make the tough decisions that leads to a powerful roadmap for execution.
Having been through the journey of decision making for themselves, your whole leadership team will feel a strong attachment to its successful execution. In turn, this ownership and commitment are the key to delivering truly remarkable results.
Ready to find out more?
We'd love to discuss your individual situation and help you to determine whether Strategy Development & Implementation Planning is the right solution for you. Why not get in touch?