4 Different Strategy Perspectives to Consider at Your Next Strategy Retreat

4 Different Strategy Perspectives to Consider at Your Next Strategy Retreat
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Different Strategy Perspectives to Consider to Get You Where You Want to Go
Effective corporate strategies clearly plot how an organization translates its limited resources and initiatives into a corporate vision for success. To work, strategies require high levels of strategic clarity, believability, and implementability from the C-suite to the frontline. This requires investing the time to consider different strategy perspectives.

Just as when you plan to travel in unfamiliar territory and need to research information on local customs, requirements, and safety to set your trip up for success, executive teams need to comprehensively consider strategy assumptions and context from different angles. During a strategy retreat, it helps to consider four different strategy perspectives: customer, process, finance, and growth.

Customer Perspective
The heart of any business strategy starts with knowing your ideal target client where you should win the majority of the time and being clear about what differentiates you from the competition in their eyes.  The customer perspective of strategy pushes everyone to examine the company’s direction and initiatives from the viewpoint of its desired customers. Executives should consider questions like:

  • Who is our ideal target client?
  • What is our unique value proposition to those ideal target clients?
  • To achieve our vision and mission, how must our target customers experience us?
  • How do we establish and leverage target customer relationships?
  • Do employees, products, finances, or customers come first to achieve our vision and mission?
  • How can we identify and design key moments of truth that add value to our target customers?
  • What role should customer satisfaction and loyalty play in our strategy?

Answers to these questions will drive the processes, designs, pricing, products, and service attributes required to attract, grow, and retain desired customers.

Culture Perspective
The culture perspective examines the critical business practices, attitudes, and behaviors required to help, and not hinder, your business objectives. Because your strategy must go through your culture to be effectively implemented, the level of organizational health, accountability, and strategic alignment has an outsized impact on success.  In fact, our organizational alignment research found that culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.  Executives should consider questions from our organizational culture assessment like:

People Perspective
To succeed at implementing any business strategy, you need to have the right talent in the right place at the right time. While all jobs are important, we know from our leadership assessment simulation data that not all roles have the same impact on success.  Put simply, your talent must be aligned with your strategy and culture to get the most from your teams.  Executives should consider questions like:

  • To be successful, what should our talent look like now and in the future?
  • Are we set up to attract top talent that fits?
  • Is our succession planning pipeline where it needs to be to support growth?
  • Do we agree upon the urgent and important growth capabilities and roles required to support our strategy?
  • Have we developed success profiles and mapped competencies for key current and future growth roles?
  • How do we plan on objectively identifying strengths, weaknesses, and promotion readiness to inform talent management planning?
  • What is our plan to help ensure that our top talent learns and grows what is required to be a success for them, their teams, and the organization?

Financial Perspective
A successful business strategy must include a plan for financial strength and sustainability.  That means being clear about what constitutes high and low performance in terms of financial success.  Executives should consider questions like:

  • To be successful, what do our finances need to look like?
  • How will we grow revenue?
  • How will we increase shareholder value?
  • How will we improve profitability?
  • How will we reduce costs?
  • What leading and lagging indicators will we use to track the effectiveness of our investments?

The Bottom Line
Discussing different strategy perspectives can help formulate a more balanced and holistic business strategy. The more disciplined and clear you can be, the easier it will be to activate your strategy with employees.  Is your strategy aligned enough to get you where you want to go?

To learn more about how to create strategic clarity, download One Page Strategy Communication Map Examples

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