How do you turn a strategic vision into an actionable plan?
So, you have decided which market you want to win in, now it’s time to consider what you need to do to make that a reality. What processes and capabilities you will need to build or change to make it happen? And is the business clear on the required investments and resource to implement it successfully?
We start by taking a 3-5 year horizon, and developing a simple and compelling articulation of the strategy. It should detail the overarching ambition, the growth drivers, and revenue and profit targets. The process of writing this articulation will pressure test how clear and coherent the strategy is. It will often be the basis of sharing with internal and external stakeholders, so needs to be water-tight.
While your strategic vision is critical in giving you your focus of where you want to be, equally important are the specific steps and actions you will take to get there. To do this you will need to decide, what are the enablers for growth.
One of the biggest pitfalls we see is organisations who put all of the emphasis on opportunities and initiatives. But do not effectively work through how to access that growth.
An enabler analysis looks at the capabilities, technology, structure and processes you must embed to enable growth. The first step is to identify a long list of what these are. As part of this, consider process changes, new assets, sites or facilities, supply chain and logistics, changes to pricing or proposition, cultural or structural changes, and anything else you feel could be a driver for growth.
You then need to prioritise the enablers by looking at which will have the biggest impact to win with the target market or consumer. You also need to look at how much resource and investment is needed for new enablers.
Strategies often fail to deliver because enablers are not planned or resourced correctly. They may be the right thing to do but the business does not have the capacity to deliver. This is why enabler scoping and prioritization is critical to creating credible long-term sustainable strategies.
A final note here is to include BAU projects when prioritising all enablers. They all impact on the business’s capacity for change, regardless of what stage they are at.
Alongside this, consider your target operating model. This is a high-level representation of how a company can be best organized to more efficiently and effectively deliver and execute the strategy. Its primary purpose is to enable the application of a corporate strategy or vision to a business
When you have your strategic framework, you need to get down into the micro details. Typically, this works on a 1yr horizon, and is required for an audience who will be implementing the strategy. It is a detailed plan, with absolute clarity on targets, key actions, RACI, resources (capex, opex, people) and any risks.
This is supported by a full 1yr budgeting. This ensures that strategic priorities are correctly funded. Budgets for the individual initiatives can be rolled up to asses the total budget behind the plan.
A final step of How To Win is creating an agile scorecard to track implementation and ensure you are agile in how you act. Here, using objectives and key results (OKRs) on a quarterly basis enable you to change direction as needed. The key is ensuring the OKRs are balanced and ladder back to the strategic imperatives. You don’t want to be over indexing in one area as it will bring a distorted view of how the strategy is performing.
To learn more about building a growth strategy for your business, please get in touch with Michael Hallam: