#4 Never stop
A strategy process is almost always timebound. But strategic choice-making is not. One of the most important objectives of a strategy process is to enable the organisation to continuously sense opportunities and make great choices.
Real strategy is everyday work and not an event.
In a world that is often characterised as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, it may seem as a foolish task to spend time on strategies and plans. Thus, when faced with exponential technologies with accelerating returns, it is tempting to listen to clichés about “strategy being dead” or that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Let’s stop strategising.
However, this is not the best course of action. In fact, it has never been more important to have a strategy in place with clear choices to provide context and guidance for decisions being made in every part of your company.
As an example, one survey found that 56% of executives experience a challenge in aligning day-to-day decisions with the overall strategy. In addition, the same survey showed that 64% of executives believe that their company has too many conflicting priorities.
The answer, therefore, is not to abandon strategy all together, but to change how it is done.
We must move away from thinking of strategy as a singular event or a static document. Strategy is an ongoing process of making decisions, learning from them and adapting our actions to what we learn when the future unfolds. Strategy must become both deliberate and emergent at the same time.
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This is no easy challenge as another survey shows that only 12% of companies say that they engage in strategic decision-making more than once a year. To succeed, you must build a strong capability for strategising across the organisation.
You must ensure that leaders and employees are able to quickly sense new opportunities and challenges, explore strategic options to reach agreement on the appropriate course of action and move the necessary resources around to implement the decisions.
We asked a few of our colleagues for their perspectives on never stopping – here’s what they said.
Do we see strategy as a stand-alone process for the senior managers? Or do we make strategic decisions a part of everyone’s job at all levels of our organisation?
Do we have the ability to quickly move resources to new strategic initiatives? Or do we become locked into fixed positions once a decision has been made?
Do we design short, focused campaigns with clear goals and benefits? Or do we plan large multi-year programmes with a vague idea of a big bang impact at the end of the journey?
Do we pick up and act on new trends and market changes as they happen? Or do we find out when our competitors launch new business models, products and services?
Implement Consulting Group is rewriting the strategy playbook. We do this by proposing dogmas for creating better strategies that are more fit for humans and fit for the future.
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A winning strategy is the key to create long-term competitive advantage and to deliver superior financial returns.
Article in German: Some common misconceptions and seven simple steps for how to perform more effective change communication.
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