Unleash the Details of Your Strategy

Wednesday, November 16 2016
strategyactionA successful strategy is built on details. While it is the responsibility of the leadership team to reveal details that need to be addressed, the process requires a facilitator who can unearth the foundational elements; extract ideas for the team to consider; reach consensus on each essential decision; achieve commitment to actions; plan for follow through; and report on the results. Attention to details is an essential driving force in this work.

The process of developing a strategy must include:

  • Size up

Look at past successes and shortfalls to extract organizational strengths and weaknesses. Consult trend authorities to learn about changes in demographics, economics, social attitudes, government technology, and competition in order to unveil opportunities and threats.

  • Values

Examine how employees feel they should conduct their lives at work. Help them to articulate their most important values.

  • Mission

Have individuals draft their ideas into a single sentence, share them, and work together to create a collective single statement.

  • Strategy

This begins with the leadership team crafting a clear vision – a detailed description, of the organization well into the future. Performance targets are set for finances, customer service, marketing and sales, internal operations, human resources, innovation and social responsibility.

  • Champions

Assign to each performance target a champion who is accountable for distilling a 1-year goal from the target and writing a success plan, which details each milestone that will be accomplished.

  • Actions

The most often missed details are actions. Each individual needs to write and share what they will complete each week for the upcoming three months. Conduct monthly meetings where each champion reports on their actions, the results achieved, and whether they are on track.

This process involves two people, a facilitator and a champion-of-champions. The facilitator, an expert in the process stimulates and guides the leadership team through all the details of creating and documenting the strategy. The champion-of-champions, usually a team member, coaches the champions, ensuring they execute their actions and celebrate successes.  Each has an important role in making the strategy work.