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From Strategy to Execution – a Simple Route Map

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Strategy is not planning — strategy is the making of an integrated set of choices that collectively position the firm in its industry to create sustainable advantage relative to competition and deliver superior returns.

Organisational strategy positions the organisation for the future.  It sets the vision and the goal for the organisation and answers the questions:

  • what is our winning aspiration?
  • where will we play?
  • how will we win?
  • what capabilities need to be in place?
  • what management systems must be instituted?
  • what is our goal?

Strategy defines the long-term direction of the organisation. It articulates what the organisation will do to compete and succeed in its chosen markets or, for the public sector, what the department will do to achieve its mission.

Strategy creates a common understanding of what the organisation aims to achieve and outlines what it needs to do to meet its goals.  The Strategic Plans bridges the gap from strategic direction to functional plans and initiatives that will ultimately be executed.

When to Revisit Strategy

The strategy of your organisation is directly correlated to business performance.  If leadership and employees are perfectly organised and aligned with the organisation’s strategy, the likelihood of strategy achievement is significant.

However, the world today is in constant change.  Technology and the marketplace is everchanging and the values and expectations of employees are constantly fluctuating.  Nothing is certain!.

You revisit strategy when:

  • The market has changed and your current organisation strategy is missing the mark.
  • Through innovation, your teams have developed a new product or service that is market-changing.
  • An unanticipated event, such as the pandemic, makes current strategy unworkable.
  • When is the right time to revisit your strategy, your strategic plan, and your strategy execution plan.

The Strategic Plan

Strategic Planning defines how the organisation will realise its strategic ambitions.  Too often, strategies are created and then forgotten until the next planning cycle begins.  A well-done strategic plan turns the organisation strategy into a clear roadmap of initiatives, actions and investments required to execute the strategy and meet business goals.

From the organisation strategy, other areas of the business define their Strategic Plans for ensuring that the organisation achieves its strategy.

Business unit Strategic Plans define and finalise business unit goals, objectives and initiatives, while ensuring alignment with organisational priorities and external trends.

Functional Strategic Plans document the choices and actions needed for the function to move from the current state to the desired end state, and contribute effectively to the organisation’s business model and goals.

Operational plans deal with the short-term execution of specific projects and changes, as well as any operational tasks not contained in the strategic plan.

These strategies all need to be integrated and in sync with each other and, most importantly, with the organisational strategy.  Once all strategies have been completed and checked for integration, the Plans can be drawn up.

The Plans are the How – they define how the strategy will be achieved – they detail who, how, when, how much is needed to achieve a goal or objective.  The plans align resources, timing, and expectations.  A plan has a more limited scope than a strategy, and the process to develop it should be more focused and quicker, so you get into action as soon as possible.

Strategy says what, where, when, and Plan says who and how.

The Strategic Plan lays the foundation for successful strategy execution.  Before the strategy can be executed, we need to ensure that we fully understand the impact of the strategy on the organisation and its various building blocks.  The Strategic Plans explains how you will leverage all your assets and favourable forces to prevail through the journey to arrive at your ultimate destination.

Some organisations may include it in the strategy definition.  We keep it separate as it is likely to take time, and may cause the strategy to be revisited.  We don’t need to have them in place, that can be part of the execution process.  But, we do need to have a plan for these changes – all of them.

When to Revisit the Strategic Plan

You revisit your Strategic Plan when:

•             The organisation structure is not delivering on the strategy.

•             New technologies are introduced that can make processes more efficient.

•             New technologies require new and different skills and competencies.

Strategy Execution, Change, and Performance

This is the TalentAlign OD “playing ground”.  We help organisations become part of the 10% that successfully execute strategy, make the changes necessary to execute, and achieve their goals.

We invite you to be one of them.

When these “superpowers” are combined, another, equally potent, superpower emerges – the potential to help organisations achieve a holistic transformation encompassing both culture and operational capabilities.

When to Revisit the Strategy Execution Plan

You revisit your Strategy Execution Plan when:

  • Planned activities are not producing the desired results.
  • The organisation, or parts of the organisation, are underperforming.
  • Employee engagement drops.

These are not definitive, but should give you an idea of when to consider changing what.

Have you noticed?  All these talk about Change.  It’s when something has changed, and the organisation needs to change to get back on track.

To see how we can assist, have a look at our “Holistic Change Management”. Read more …

For an idea of how this comes together, look at our article “Successful Change Execution with the OKR Framework”. REad more …

If you would like to talk to us about how we can assist with you Strategy Execution in order to make your Strategy more successful, please complete the form below, and we will be in touch directly.

To learn more about the solutions we offer, go to Solutions

To learn more about our services, go to Services

To learn more about our methodology, go to How We work with You.

If you would like to know how we can assist with your Strategy process, and particularly, how we can help make your strategy successful, please complete the form below and we will be in touch directly.

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