In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. – Jack Welch, Winning
When looking at your company’s strategic intent, the Senior Leadership Team will take stock of the company’s position based on the research conducted during strategic analysis, determine your mission and intent, and build out the strategic plan.
When constructing your strategy for consistency and ensuring you’re playing to win, it’s important to remember the success of your strategic intent hinges on four key factors:
1: YOUR STRATEGIC TEAM
Determining who will be part of the Strategic Planning Team should be easy. You want to pull in the key decision makers across the breadth of the company. You want to keep the group small – less than 15 people. Remember, those who build the plan don’t fight the plan. Your Chief Strategy Officer or Advisor should be leading the process, focusing not just on compliance but on the overall direction of the company.
If you don’t have anyone in this position, or previous strategic initiatives led by your advisors have focused too much on compliance, you need to talk to a strategic partner like Advisory Works to assist you through the process. The outcome of having others involved enables them to take ownership of the plan and help communicate and execute it into the business.
2: YOUR STRATEGIC GOALS
Your strategic goals are a set of broad, long-term statements addressing your company strategy across all areas of the organisation. When planning your goals, look at how you will build you people and culture, how you will develop and implement key systems and processes for scale, how you will build your brand, and how you can be competitive in the market while winning.
3: SET STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Having determined your strategic goals, a huge part of developing your strategic intent will be identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats against those goals. By studying your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as looking at opportunities and threats presented externally by the market or competitors. you’ll be able to identify potential options and strategies.
Once you’ve identified a series of options, choose those that give the greatest benefit and have the greatest potential for success. Make simple objectives for the priorities, allocate a person accountable and a timeframe to deliver it by. Now it is time to implement like hell – disciplined execution.
4: DON’T FIGHT THE PLAN
As you’re setting organisational-wide goals and objectives, you may come across team members who are confrontational – who are fighting against the strategic direction. This is perfectly fine during the initial stages, but when the plan is solidified and being brought to the whole organisation for execution, the strategic team has to be united in their vision. The team that makes the plan cannot fight the plan.
Discussion will help team members to align their own thoughts and values with the strategic plan, as well as work through potential issues as they come to light. Sometimes, you need to step up as leader and make a solid decision to bring discussions to a close. Business is not a committee, the leader needs to make a decision and the team needs to be able to align and present the outcome as a united front – a single message.
It’s important to always keep strategy closely aligned with the research you completed. Once everyone is in sync, allocate projects and ensure everyone is responsible for the projects that resonate the most with their particular values.
Is your company’s strategic planning using these four key success factors? If not, you need some serious help. Download our free guide, The Four Cornerstones of Strategic Execution.