Organisational Strategy Made Simple

When preparing high-level strategy, the first question – where are we now? – needs to be addressed. Senior managers and directors will, for example:

  • analyse current and recent operational data – e.g. from accounts, sales figures or feedback comments
  • identify influences – e.g. looking at results from the PESTLE analysis
  • identify actual and potential problems – e.g. changes in the supply chain; changes in technology; changes in customers’ expectations and spending patterns
  • provide evidence to support claims – e.g. providing figures from previous successful projects or competitors’ activities; market research figures to illustrate demand for products and services

The second question – where do we want and need to be? – helps the organisation to focus on its vision and purpose and senior managers and directors need to consider how they will, for example:

  • present the organisation’s vision and purpose – e.g. showing how development plans remain true to the original vision (main goals) and purpose (the reasons for existing and operating); explaining any changes to the original vision and purpose
  • clarify the development plans and ideas – e.g. to build a second factory; to set up a new company or department; to change from high-street outlets to online outlets
  • set goals – e.g. targets, objectives and deadlines for the coming months and years; projections for sales and other income

The third question – how do we get there? – forms the basis of operational plans of how to achieve functional objectives. Decision-makers need to work out, for example, how they will:

  • allocate budgets – e.g. for heads of departments and teams to follow and use when planning their resources and schedules; to show shareholders how funds will be used
  • create financial forecasts – e.g. to show the bank when asking for business loans; to illustrate where the organisation expects to be financially at a given time
  • convince people to support the organisation – e.g. customers, suppliers, shareholders or potential employees
  • allocate physical resources – e.g. the current supply chain, costs, reliability and sustainability; physical assets owned by the organisation
  • assess human resources needed – e.g. the current workforce and scope to recruit and train new staff
  • set timescales for achieving the main goals – e.g. for different key stages of development

The final question – how do we measure progress and success? – covers how the high-level strategy will compare the actual progress with targets set out in plans by using, for example:

  • timescales, deadlines and targets
  • critical review points – e.g. at the end of different stages to make sure that everything is on track
  • monitoring techniques – e.g. against key performance indicators (KPIs); using Gantt charts
  • measuring increased income, sales or numbers of customers
  • customer feedback, loyalty and retention
  • public and media reactions

 Follow the above pointers and you will have a very clear and effective grip on the strategic steps you need to take.

Good Luck!

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