Steps to Upgrade Your Strategy

Steps to Upgrade Your Strategy
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Do You Need to Upgrade Your Strategy?
Technology disruption, the war for talent, inflation, and recessionary pressures are creating the perfect storm for many businesses. To succeed, we believe that it’s time to rethink and upgrade your strategy to meet the current and future challenges.

No longer can leaders hold isolated strategy retreats and coast along the same old paths; you need to reimagine the journey forward and invest in the leadership capabilities required to create more innovative, agile, and resilient teams and organizations.

Upgrade Your Strategy by Consistently Updating the Strategic Context
When it comes to successful strategy execution, context matters.  Similar to unsuccessful change initiatives, unsuccessful strategies usually fail to create strategic initiatives that make sense within the overall market, competitor, culture, and talent realities that the strategies must be implemented within.

The most effective strategies test their strategy, culture, and talent assumptions each quarter (more often when big changes occur) to ensure that the quality of their strategic plan is equal to the challenge of their objectives.

If your strategy does not explicitly include key assumptions (co-created with key stakeholders) that form the foundation of your strategic initiatives, then the chances are that you are creating tactics, not big strategic bets.  And unless you have created the next iPhone, tactics will not win in today’s marketplace.

3 Steps to Upgrade Your Strategy

  1. Articulate a Strategy That Is Clear And Forward-Thinking Enough
    Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for up to 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. Your strategy should outline clear and compelling choices about where to play and what big bets to make to achieve your company’s mission and strategic vision. Be sure you have a unique value proposition that resonates with your ideal target clients and sets you apart from the pack both now and in the future.

    If you want to upgrade your strategy, the best place to start is with ruthless clarity and alignment.  And if you want to save yourself a lot of headaches, do not underestimate the importance of clarity and alignment at the executive team level and active involvement of those responsible for executing the strategy across the organization early in the strategy design process.
  2. Streamline, Flatten, and Speed Up Wherever Possible
    Once your strategy is clear and aligned enough, focus on eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy that can slow down operations and inhibit effective decision making.

    Empower your teams to operate more efficiently and effectively and break down silos that impede open communication and collaboration. Clarify and simplify processes with the goal of avoiding confusion, playing to people’s strengths, reducing manual tasks, and eliminating duplication of effort.
  3. Adopt a Continuous Learning and Open Mindset
    Organizational adaptability and flexibility matter.  Executives and employees need to value what can be learned from occasional missteps and be ready to take advantage of new opportunities.

    Individuals and teams must gain insights into what works and be rewarded for sharing know-how with the betterment of the entire enterprise in mind.

The Bottom Line
Strategic plans should be living and evolving documents. To succeed, you must also have a strategy that takes into account the challenges of the future, adapts frequently to market realities, and that is up to the challenge.

If you think it may be time to upgrade your strategy, download 7 Proven Ways to Stress Test Your Strategy to see where you stand.

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