Strategy requires foresight, insight your competitors do not have and more. Strategy development relies on acting on your foresight using good analytical frameworks to produce insight. It also relies on productive group processes that stimulate superior thinking, collaboration and a willingness to do what is needed to 'out-compete'.
As strategy facilitators, GCA brings together the best tools and process methodologies available for strategic planning. We also follow a process of facilitated collaboration and consensus that ensures active participation by, and commitment from all key stakeholders.
Outcomes are action orientated with implementation and monitoring steps clearly defined. Our unique combination of people skills, strategic management frameworks and process methodology can be adapted to your needs.
The following steps are a menu and not all necessarily required at each strategy session depending where you are in your strategic development.
1. Context (pre-work prior to the session)
We first need to understand your context – what environment you are in and what’s going on in your organisation and industry.
2. Current reality
You (as client) need to have a clear understanding of your organisation’s current reality which could include:
- A SWOT analysis –some pre-work could be done here to save time e.g. Collect recent market/staff/client survey results and any other reports that reflect the current situation.
- A “what’s working/what’s not working” discussion.
If required at this point your strategic model may be questioned and if so sufficient time would be allocated to challenging that model and how your organisation does business or has its modus operandi. This could include looking at:
- Your Mission statement
- Your products/services
- Your positioning within the Group etc.
We will then summarise the forces pushing you away from you current reality so the group knows what works and doesn’t work currently.
We then analyse the forces in the environment: legislation, socio-economic, political, technology, social etc – could also do some homework on this prior to the strategy session or have an expert present this at the conference. You need time for the group to reflect on the implications of these environmental factors for your organisation.
5. Desired future
You would then choose a horizon e.g. 3-5 years and scope the desired future in a creative manner. The desired future describes the company as they wish it to be at that point.
We would then summarise the forces pulling you towards the future.
7. Strategic levers
From those PULLS we then identify the strategic levers that would take your department or organisation to the desired future e.g. Service, Technology, Processes and Skills. There could be current strategic initiatives that could be included here – you don’t need necessarily re-invent the wheel. It’s also important to appoint owners/leaders for each of these strategic levers.
We would then define the broad objectives of each of those key levers based on the desired future.
The next step would be to identify 6 monthly milestones working backwards from the desired future all the way back to the present. The milestones would be defined as key (forecasted) achievements.
10. Action plan
Once the first milestone is done, we would identify key actions for the next 3-6 months with specific dates and the people who will be accountable for the actions.
The company must plan separate monthly strategic meetings completely separate from their operational meetings, as the level of the conversation needs to be different and can’t afford to blend in with operational matters. At these meetings the documentation would be reviewed in a project management manner. The strategy needs to be owned by one person who will drive the meetings and projects.