How great would it be if everyone in your organisation understood your strategy, and was working towards the organisation’s objectives everyday? Welcome to strategic deployment….
Strategy is a fundamental part of any business. You ask any senior leader worth her salt, and you will find she knows the strategy inside out. She is doing her best to ensure that the business is heading in the right direction and is serving customers well. The strategy is pointing at one single thing – success.
The leadership team understands the strategy and agrees with it. However, each interprets it for their area of the business. They pick a meaningful improvement for their areas of accountability. One leader sees growth as a priority. One sees customer focus as the priority. Another thinks that a better culture is the priority. And a further leader thinks that targeting a new sector is priority. All four are outlined as objectives in the strategy. So who is right? Every one of them is doing something that is in the overarching strategy. You can’t argue with this sort of commitment. So how comes it goes wrong?
The Problem with strategy?
The problem is that the strategy to improve the business has now created dilemmas that make it unworkable. In our example above we have four priorities within a single strategy. Here’s the problem… The organisation shares Improvement, ICT, HR, Finance, and Engineering functions. We have a situation where the strategy is creating competition internally. Everyone needs to ensure they have the right function working for them at the right time, or they can’t succeed. This makes improvement either slow or impossible, and fills the organisational system with inertia. So, we now have moderate success, or we have a stalemate. Worse than that, everyone is working so hard, and getting nowhere. Moreover, motivation is starting to crumble.
Whilst trying to win against each other, leaders lose sight of the real competition – the guys selling against them in the market – and the organisation will start to lose ground on its rivals. Ironically, the one thing the strategy warned against was falling behind to the competition. Furthermore, the strategy said that the leadership team was going to support one another to ensure stability, and now we have conflict, and lack of trust.
The Answer is strategic deployment?
Our answer is in alignment of the strategy, and strategic deployment of the policies within it. By using a simple system of Policy Deployment in a matrix format, we can help you build a top-level document that your leaders can feed into and use to align each area of the organisation. Having a hierarchical system of objectives (A set of objectives at different levels of the organisation) that all point towards those of the corporation, gives true focus of what is needed and when. Driving real priorities for every area, and an understanding of the resource requirements. In this model, each leader can start to appreciate the finite nature of shared services, and book their time without competing with others. This allows real traction and less conflict in your strategic deployment.
We can then help you to build a plan and action list to make this strategic alignment, and strategic deployment efficient. This is all part of our Operating System. Once in place it really is a case of making a review, and making necessary changes to keep the execution of the strategy balanced. This in turn will deliver the success that the top-level strategy talked of.
The bonus is that the system is also highly visible. Every person in every area of the business can see it, understand it, and become a part of it. This creates the fertile bed for a culture of engagement, where we can help you to make everyone in the organisation a change agent.