Insights - Assessing your strategy.

Assessing your strategy.

by Dr. Thomas Papanikolaou on February 26, 2013

Is your organisation executing on plans that bring you nearer to your company's vision?

In one of our assignments we worked in an organisation that seemed to define its strategy on a quarterly basis. Pressured by an industry paradigm shift that was identified too late, and the resulting life-threatening impact on the company's existence, people were focusing on short-terms projects that would improve their respective part of the business, without understanding the effect of their actions to the overall well-being of the company.

A market environment characterized by financial crises and disruptive entrants are two frequently referred upon external causes for a company to lose direction. While this reasoning can be valid, our own experience shows that the fundamental issues more than often lie within the company itself. There are 3 particular areas to search for the root causes. We summarized those below, along with sample questions to ask:

  1. Thought Leadership: does your company have a documented vision and long-term strategy to get there, which is accessible and understood by everyone? Are you spending enough time evangelising this strategy to create broad alignment towards the vision?
  2. People Leadership: Do you have the right people - starting at the very top of your organisation - capable of leading the way? Do those people have the skills to attract, develop and retain key employees to enable you execute on the strategy and translate your vision into reality and commercial success?
  3. Organisation Leadership: Does “Speed, Simplicity and Trust” describe the way you organisation operates internally and behaves externally? Do financial targets align with people's targets and competence, and have you allocated sufficient resources to create the environment that will bring you nearer to your company's vision?

For the assignment in question, we supported the company in crystallising its vision and documenting its strategy, defined lead propositions and initiatives to make the strategy commercially tangible, and worked with them in the field to create the first proof points. While we are not involved with the further implementation anymore, our work created the prerequisites for the company to succeed, for many years to come.

CREDITS & REFERENCES

  1. The author has received Thought, People and Organisation Leadership training as part of the Ericsson Leadership Excellence Program.
  2. Vodafone spearheaded the “Speed, Simplicity and Trust” way of working towards its customers. It is documented in its Code of Conduct.

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