Strategy is consistently the least understood area of operations. A strategy is everything, without a coherent strategy the goals of an organization will not be met. Most commonly though it is the operational implementation of that strategy that fails and this, in turn, causes organizations to fail by their own standards.
- To set a suitable strategy you MUST understand where your organization is in relation to all stakeholders (internal and external, people often forget the internal ones)
- Many tools for external analysis exists (e.g. SWOT, Competitor Matrices etc.)
- Internally review, skills matrices, staff resumes & surveys, contract performance, financial records
- Set a vision, see if the analysis proves it to be feasible, refine the vision.
- The vision should be aspirational, take time to achieve and remain at a high level.
- It is a wish list of what the organization will strive to achieve. Something the organization can rally behind.
- Inspirational is good, clearly understood is much better
- Once it is set explain it to everyone – all staff should be able to advocate for the vision.
- Objectives are indicators along the pathway to achieve the vision.
- They should build toward the vision.
- Like any target they must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound.
- Each area of the business should have objectives to ensure engagement and make sure nothing prevents you achieving the vision.
- Actions are the most important part of any strategy.
- Without actions that are properly developed, strategy descends into a series of meetings, words and demotivating noise for the staff.
- Actions must be owned, delivered and updated if things change.
- Actions should be shared, if strategy is just a management thing it will fail.
- Monitor progress of actions and hold people accountable – if strategy is to deliver these must be the most important actions in your organization.
- Test your vision, objectives and actions against developed scenarios.
- Scenarios are different pictures of how internal and external factors change.
- Retain the results of scenario analysis and be ready to modify your strategy if the scenarios you explored become reality.