Strategy in Progress, LLC provides the following services which are described further below:
• Strategy Development
• Strategic Planning
• Strategic Plan Execution and Follow-up
• Facilitation Services
• Organization Design and Planning
The cornerstone of any successful organization is a clearly defined overall business strategy and strategic direction. To what extend owners and key stakeholders desire to grow and how they intend to grow are at the heart of the overall strategy development process. The objective of this service is help the CEO and senior management team define a clear direction for the organization as it relates to future products and services, market segments, customer types and geographic scope. As importantly, this process also challenges the team to determine what it will not focus on as part of its overall strategic direction and plan.
This service engages the senior executive team to answer key strategic questions such as:
• How would we define our current overall business strategy and strategic direction?
• Is there an overall growth consensus or do our key leaders vary greatly regarding both the need for and the rate of growth?
• What do we do best and what are we recognized as doing best? Are we appropriately leveraging these strengths in the market?
• What is our assessment of the external environment that we will be competing within and what key strategic assumptions about external factors impact our strategic direction?
• How do we position ourselves in the market to achieve our growth expectations?
• What do we not want to focus on?
• What are the critical issues that must be addressed in order to achieve our desired position and growth expectations in the market?
As part of the strategy development process, the strategy development team works closely with the strategy consultant to identify, obtain, and assess relevant strategic information that will help the team gain insight to its current situation and market position. As a key output of this process, the strategy development team creates a concise clear statement of overall business strategy and strategic profile. This document becomes the basis for developing the multi-year strategic plan to help guide the Company.
The objective of this service is to work with the client’s strategic planning team to create a written strategic plan that, when executed, will help the organization achieve its overall business strategy and growth goal. Key questions that will be addressed as part of this service include:
• What are the most important critical issues that we must address to achieve our overall business strategy?
• What are the most important strategic goals and key performance indicators that we must measure and communicate as part of our strategy execution?
• Where and how do we allocate limited organization resources to accomplish our strategic objectives and goals?
• How do we hold our organization and ourselves accountable for continued execution of the strategic plan?
The strategic plan will include an overall statement of mission; broad strategic objectives; measurable goals and key performance indicators; and major organization strategies that 1)define how the organization will achieve its goals, and 2)assign accountability (individual responsibility and target dates) to accomplish stated strategies.
The strategic planning process typically engages the executive team and other key management team members to develop a multi-year plan that commits the organization’s limited resources to address the organization’s most critical issues.
A critical element of the strategic plan process is to engage the team to define a strategy execution and follow-up discipline that fits the organization and one that all can commit to executing.
Strategic Plan Execution and Follow-up
The objective of this service is to ensure an organization’s “return on investment” for the time and dollars invested by the organization to develop the overall the business strategy and the Strategic Plan document. Too often, the valuable strategic thinking time invested during the planning process is wasted as the strategic plan document ultimately “gathers dust on the shelf.” This service is, in essence, an “insurance policy” to prevent this from occurring.
Key questions to be addressed as part of this process include:
• As an organization overall and as individual participants in the planning process, are we committed to strategic plan execution as agreed?
• What progress are we making on important strategic initiatives?
• What is getting in the way of executing the strategic plan as defined?
• Are our strategic assumptions that we made as part of the planning process regarding external factors such as our market, the industry, the economy, etc. still on target? Or have any changed in a way that may dramatically impact our strategic plan?
• What are the most important strategic initiatives to focus upon over the next 6 to 12 months?
The Strategy in Progress commitment is to help the organization define and commit to a plan execution follow-up discipline that works for that organization. We will then proactively challenge the planning team members to fulfill its commitment to execution. This often include defined Strategy In Progress involvement such as facilitating periodic plan update sessions with the planning team; or meeting in confidence with the CEO to discuss organization challenges related to strategic plan execution.
Often times, organizations do not need or are not ready for more extensive strategy development or strategic planning services. However, these organizations may be facing critical strategic and/or operational issues and decisions that are important to the organization’s future success.
Key questions that are often addressed in facilitated sessions include:
• Within the next 6 to 12 months, what are our priority issues and what actions do we take to address these issues? (Annual business planning?)
• How do we get our arms around a specific high priority strategic initiative such as a new business unit start up?
• Should we continue to invest in a particular business unit and if so what do we do differently to succeed?
• Is this a feasible business opportunity in which to invest?
• How do we attack a particular internal issue that is preventing us from moving forward as an organization?
Strategy in Progress can provide custom fit facilitation services to help organizations address these issues and challenges in an effective, organized, efficient approach. The objective of any facilitated process is to create a structured environment and process to critically evaluate the issue; consider various options and the impact on the organization; and then develop a solution along with actionable steps to address the critical issue. The success of these facilitated events depends upon the following: a well defined problem definition; a focused agenda to address the issue; and a skilled, experienced facilitator with strong business acumen and substantive knowledge pertinent to the organization.
Organization Design and Planning
For many organizations, the development of an overall business strategy and strategic plan often leads to a need to evaluate the current organization structure. It may be necessary to modify the current structure or design a new structure to better meet the organization’s redefined strategic direction.
Often critical issues related to the following can lead to redesigning an organization structure to support targeted strategic initiatives:
• key management succession
• new significant growth opportunities
• emphasis on critical business functions or the need to integrate business functions
Key questions to be addressed as part of this service include:
• Is our current organization structure aligned with our redefined overall business strategy and strategic direction?
• What organization functions need to be emphasized or repositioned in order to successfully accomplish the strategic objectives of the organization?
• Do we have significant management gaps between our current organization structure and future organization needs?
• Are multiple implementation stages required to put in place the desired organization structure for the future?
Strategy in Progress can assist organizations determine how, at a strategic level, the organization must change to meet its strategic objectives and to help the organization identify, evaluate, and implement the best suited organization structure consistent with its strategic direction.