Strategic Transformation Series: Post 3
Thanks for joining us again for the third post for the Strategic Transformation Series. In the first two entries we talked about The Strategy and Engagement Connection & To Plan or To Transform? We look forward to your comments and questions as we dive into how strategic planning can not only enhance your company’s bottom line, but the engagement of your employees as well.
True transformation comes down to Intent. If our intention is to truly transform our organization through strategic planning, then that significant intention will require significant action.
Create a Strong Foundation If your last strategic plan is collecting dust on the shelf, let me ask you a few questions:
- How organized was the pre-planning? Did you identify stakeholders, decision makers, timelines and milestones?
- Was the rest of the organization well informed of this plan? Did you continue to communicate transparently and frequently?
- Were the right people involved? Did you have enough diversity of experience, subject matter expertise and perspectives to create a full picture?
- What historical information was gathered and provided to the team? Did they know what worked and didn’t work in the past?
- Were the leaders of your organization in the right frame of mind and open to thinking big about the possibilities for the future?
- Was the team prepared to communicate effectively and deal appropriately with conflict? Was there a designated facilitator?
By answering YES to these questions, we show our intent to create strong foundation for success by HOW we prepare. Important work and we haven’t even started the planning! This important phase of creating cultural preparedness for your organization will help you create that all important buy-in from your teams that you need to have the transformation you desire.
Define the Future
Once you’ve created the foundation, it’s time to get to the business of planning. Here are some things to consider as you create the high level strategy that we are all familiar with.
- Is your mission and vision clear? Does everyone have the same understanding and clarity that you need to move forward?
- When’s the last time you took inventory of everything that your organization does? You might be surprised how many “I didn’t know we did that…” comments you hear around the room.
- Are they the right activities? What would you like to be doing? How would you enhance those activities? What would it take to get there?
Strategy, at its heart, is about great communication. Remember – this intent is that this strategy be something everyone in your organization understands and lives by. Be mindful of the strong foundation and work to develop the goals and objectives collaboratively and interactively through a series of facilitated sessions that draw upon all stakeholders’ input and perspectives.
As you write the plan, keep the messaging clear, concise and actionable. Less is more. Consider a strategy map to help as a communication tool that can help to internalize this strategy in your culture.
The Plan to Get There
The typical next step is to issue the plan to the entire organization and instruct that they cascade the high-level goals and objectives into their operational divisions. We might even instruct that performance goals be tied to this strategy.
This all sounds good, in theory. However, Implementation Planning is often missing key results such as:
- opportunities for collaboration between divisions to execute the goals
- collective priority setting and coordination
- adequate resources to execute across the organization
- measurement of progress and enhanced performance
HOW you plan to implement the strategy is key to its success. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste; be sure to create a consistent process by which divisions are creating work plans that contribute to an overarching organizational work plan. Then work collaboratively to ensure the proper priorities and resources are allocated to TRANSFORM your organization!