How do you interconnect strategy within a dense, dispersed organization or a regionalized organization? How do you transform and align your organization and reduce needless activities (synergy leaks) so that your assets are all functioning cost-effectively to the same ends? How will you measure the usefulness of your strategy and its mobilization? How will you encourage or stimulate a culture of responsiveness that proactively adjust to the dynamic and evolving 21st Century business environment? We offer a unique set of enablers that assist customers in answering these questions with viable options.
Strategic Management Competencies
A well formulated strategy is the starting point. The strategy must subsequently be communicated, resourced, tested, and modified to reflect real-world feedback. Strategy formulation and strategy execution are inextricably linked in a closed-loop process; they cannot and should not be separated. Organizations that want to reap the highest benefits of strategy formulation and strategic planning should benchmark themselves against the best practices of a Strategy-Focused Organization.
There is a consistent set of best practices that create the core of our approach to strategy formulation and strategic planning. We function as our client’s custodian of their process to facilitate the formulation and assisting organizations translate these best practices to high level benefits.
Creating alignment among individuals, organizations, and a strategy is how value is created. We assist clients to understand how an alignment process has many dimensions, most of which require cross-enterprise interaction and organizational change.
Our alignment modeling ensures that the strategy integrates at all levels of the organization by including corporate priorities and ensuring teamwork across and within Strategic Business Units. We assist our clients accomplish these activities by driving them to engage a combination of logic, authority, and change management skills.
We’ve observed a direct correlation between the extent to which employees understand the strategy and their ability to execute it.
Our research shows that building this awareness is best facilitated through a comprehensive communication and education process, one in which levels of awareness are measured and monitored.
But educating employees about strategy goes beyond the typical duties of a corporate communications department.
We enable our clients to create a comprehensive communication and education process focused on the strategy by integrating communication opportunities into every management meeting, and every conceivable channel to achieve a cross-functional discipline.
Translating your strategy to operational terms provides a visual framework to describe and communicate your strategy to the organization.
Our BSC Coordination includes diagramming organizational strategies, identifying targets, assisting in the development of measures, and managing the design and use of the information system that supports the strategic management process that links strategy to action.
Are you able to effectively and efficiently identify, select, and manage the key initiatives that drive long-term value? Many companies find it difficult to generate real strategic value from their initiatives. Companies spend billions every year on the “wrong” projects and of those projects of value, less than half are truly aligned to a company’s strategy.
By failing to select initiatives that clearly support the priorities of the strategy, the energy of most organizations is frittered away and the return on investment is sub-optimized. These issues typically arise because leaders lack appropriate information, a structured process centered on the strategy, or a forum to make better decisions.
Our professionals work with organizations to establish a consistent initiative management process focused on strategy execution. Strategy is executed through a coherent and holistic portfolio of initiatives that are linked explicitly to the key drivers of value creation. Our clients improve their ability to reach organizational goals by implementing the highest value and the most strategically aligned portfolio of initiatives.
To ensure a lasting impact, we help clients establish an ongoing selection and review process that enables them to focus on understanding how the portfolio of initiatives is performing against strategic objectives and targets. Embedded in our best-practices process, we enable clients to marry initiative selection with available resources. Clients also grow the number of strategically focused initiative ideas that will help them close their performance gap. By partnering with us, our clients focus on what matters by discontinuing ineffective initiatives and reducing initiative clutter, generating new ideas focused on the strategy, and selecting only the initiatives required to execute strategy.
The argument that good corporate governance can help to prevent failure, is valid, however, it does not guarantee good business performance. As has been seen, corporate failures led to significant efforts to reform the corporate governance side of the equation in the early 21st Century.
Our enterprise governance coordination helps C-Level stakeholders understand the importance of both conformance and performance integration in order to keep balance and increase their long-term forecasting success rates. The conformance dimension covers issues such as board structures and roles, as well as, executive fiduciary responsibilities.
The performance dimension centers on strategy and value creation. The focus is on helping the board make strategic decisions, understanding its enthusiasm for risk, and the key drivers of performance. This dimension does not lend itself easily to a regime of standards and audit.
Instead, it is desirable to develop a range of best practice tools and techniques, such as the Balanced Scorecard which can be applied intelligently within different types of organizations.
Sometimes, even with Balanced Scorecards in place, the corporate left hand can lose track of its right hand. The basic goal of the BSMR is to determine if the scorecard has successfully aligned the disparate parts of the organization.
We provide experienced strategists to administer and facilitate a Balanced Scorecard Management Review (BSMR), which helps companies move from scorecard users to Strategy-Focused Organizations. To facilitate the BSMR process, we utilize a set of standards for each key implementation area within the Balanced Scorecard. The review is broken up into five steps:
- In the first part, we facilitate the meeting with top management to review the degree to which the strategy has been developed and articulated. In this part, management is reviewing and regularly resolving key strategic issues.
- In the second part, we assist managers during the review of the company’s strategy map and determine how effectively it integrates the four scorecard perspectives and the different areas of the company — i.e. business units or shared services units.
- In the third part of the review, we assess how well a company has designed and implemented its scorecard measures. This part focuses on the value of information obtained from both leading and lagging measures, and how the company has linked measures to compensation to reinforce behaviors.
- In the fourth part, we test the transition process from measures to targets to ensure there is a strong connection between the two. Our objective is assisting the company understand and appropriately select different types of targets (e.g., experiential, benchmarks) and sets a range of targets (e.g., minimum, maximum, and stretch targets) to create and sustain value.
- Lastly, we conduct a survey with management to determine how well initiatives have been linked to the measures and targets for the company. This part focuses on how initiatives have been ranked during the strategic budgeting process to support reaching stretch targets.
Taken together, these five steps constitute the BSMR.
Mobilizing executives can be one of the biggest hurdles to launching a strategic transformation. Many senior executives have boards to please, analysts to convince, and “hard” business issues and initiatives to manage. They are (rightfully) wary of management fads and the consultants who push them. So how can companies cut the cycle time? Where can organizational missionaries get hard-hitting, persuasive ideas about improving company performance to make their case? How can they boost their chances of succeeding? And how can they test whether the time is right for change?
Simple: conduct our Strategy Focused Organization (SFO) Readiness Assessment. This quick four week, six-step process we call “Assessment” involves evaluating the current state of the business and its culture, building the change architecture, demonstrating the value of change (and the costs of not changing) and developing a plan. Our SFO Readiness Assessment is designed primarily for companies that either recognize the need for a new strategy or have already defined one and are preparing to implement it.