Strategy and Planning
What does business improvement mean to you? Your company?
What do you want to make better? Why? How will that increase profit? What has to be given up to make that change?
These are the questions that business leaders struggle with every day. One of the most frequently used tools to address those issues is strategic planning.
What Brings You Here?
The management team (even if that is just you) is responsible for getting better and better business results over time.
External challenges such as changes in competition, the global economy, and federal / state/ local regulations are happening almost daily, so improvement can become crucial to your company's survival. Driving innovation is a complex goal requiring the coordination of multiple parts of the business.
Your customers' needs are changing in reaction to the same challenges. They need you to help them with that.
You may also need to improve because your company is growing, and the way your business grew to this point is now holding you back from serving more customers.
Then there's the problem that our organizations were never built to be adaptable. Those early management pioneers, a hundred years ago, set out to build companies that were disciplined, not resilient. They understood that efficiency comes from routinizing the non-routine. Adaptability, on the other hand, requires a willingness to occasionally abandon those routines—and in most organizations there are precious few incentives to do that.
That's why change tends to come in only two varieties: the trivial and the traumatic. Perhaps you are ready to avoid both.
The first step toward effective strategy is diagnosing the specific structure of the challenge or problem rather than simply naming performance goals.
The second step is choosing an overall guiding policy to build a new advantage or leverage an existing one in your company.
The third step is designing actions and assigning resources to implement the chosen guiding policy.
This is where accountability begins. The CEO accepts being accountable to the company stakeholders and board of directors for business results as a whole. She then delegates projects and goals to her senior staff, negotiating with each one to help them define and accept accountability for those.The delegation / accountability cycle is repeats until everyone in the company they knows the results they are responsible for and how those results must merge with everyone else's to accomplish the strategy.
How We Help
Our straight-forward, common-sense strategic planning approach develops and aligns strategic thinking, people, and processes while minimizing the impact of anything that can get in the way. We help you:
- Define the vision and strategies to guide the desired changes
- Understand the current state of the company, which parts of the company will be affected, and what the desired state looks like.
- Align the division, department and individual goals.
- Communicate to help everyone stay informed and insure problems are identified and dealt with
- Develop a culture where people choose to be accountable for their part of the change.
Our strategic planning service works seamlessly with our executive leadership and individual leadership coaching services to help individuals maximize their effectiveness and realize personal and professional success.
Processes and Systems
If you Google "business improvement," the top responses focus on process. However, process is only part of that story. Systems play an equally important role.Charles Gilkey, one of our favorite productivity experts, defines process and system as:
- A process is a conceptual sequence of events that enables people in a business to do what they do. It addresses effectiveness, which is the degree to which something is adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.
- A system is used to execute the process. It addresses efficiency, a measure of whether something is performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.
- You can measure efficiency far more accurately than effectiveness.
- Processes and systems are closely tied. A change always impacts the other, and not always in the way you want it to.
How We Help
We have helped hundreds of executives and business owners link and coordinate their strategies to the people, processes, and systems needed to make them happen. We have a collection of flexible tools to conquer the most stubborn problems, get people moving forward, and help the business get back on track.As an example, one of our favorites is the Business Model Canvas designed by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur described in their Business Model Generation books.