“Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.” – Rudy Giuliani
What’s a good approach for developing strategy? This may seem like an impossible question to answer – the s-word often causes a sense of being overwhelmed and confused. Where to start, what is the process, how do we know that we are done? Sometimes it all seems a bit hard.
Developing a strategy – be it for your departmental team or your wider company team – is essential in providing a framework for direction and ultimately success. So whether you run a team or a company; a big business or a small one; a for-profit or a not-for-profit, you should be thinking about your strategy.
So, what is a good approach? Well, there are many factors that will impact how you best do this for your situation. To help get your thinking started, here is an outline of what you could do. (Engaging Potential uses the materials and resources of The Grove Consultants International, so some of the descriptions are adapted from their Visual Planning Systems.)
1. Organisational history
In order to determine where an organisation is heading, it is often beneficial to review where it has been – its history. This process helps bring the team together, gather lessons from the past, orients new team members, and identifies values and capabilities.
2. Context mapping
To commence a future-focussed discussion, the group needs to understand the factors, trends and forces at work in its marketplace. This may also involve mapping where the business / team fits into the larger industry / company, and the links to key players.
3. SWOT Matrix
Where there is a need to do additional work assessing a business’ / team’s current situation, a SWOT matrix is an ideal framework: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
4. Stakeholder map
The next step is to review the current network of business stakeholders and to determine the desired future network. This provides a context for deciding which groups should be the focus of marketing or other communication attention.
It is essential that a strategy planning team reflects on aspirations for the future and determines initiatives that will move it towards its goals. These plans should be aligned, where appropriate, to developments within the larger industry.
6. Game plan / roadmap
To achieve a vision, the business must clarify goals to take them towards their desired future state. This is where the road map is essential
for developing a dynamic action plan – this can be as top-level or as detailed as required for the initial strategy session.
And it’s that easy! Well, we all know it’s not, but planning how you will approach this important task is crucial.
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