Strategy development and deployment can be a daunting process for those who are trying to truly make the connection between the organization’s strategic intention and its operational perception. What I mean is, the strategic efforts (or intention) at the top are not always perceived fully (or even partly) at the bottom. How can an organization reinforce the link between the two ends? For example, how can a sales representative really get what goes on at the top of the organization when it comes to its long term direction? While the below suggested steps are not everything the practitioner would need to address the disconnect between strategic intention and operational perception, they may help in getting there.
1. Clearly state the organization’s critical objectives. “To be the best in the industry” or “to deliver the best customer service” sounds nice but what is it that you are trying to measure here? What are the metrics behind these statements? Does “being the best” mean more market share? How much more? Does “best customer service” mean less recall events? How much less? We human beings respond better and quicker to things we understand clearly. Put a name and a metric to those critical objectives or goals you have in mind and make sure that everyone gets the memo about them.
2. Deploy objectives or goals as mathematically as possible! Consider the following: you work in department C that reports to department B that reports to department A that reports to the COO of the organization. By the time that each department has created its own way of measuring a given strategic goal you have to support, most likely and sadly, you have already lost the meaning of it. On the other hand, if your department’s metric is calculated in the exact same way as the the others do all the away to the top, you will always know that, for example, the cost of maintenance in your department affects the cost of maintenance in departments B and A directly – mathematically. You can minimize confusion tremendously by using a mathematical link between the company’s main goals and your contribution to them.
3. Make the metrics a personal agenda. Ideally, as explored in item 2 above, you will deploy your organization’s goals mathematically throughout the company, as much as possible. Now use those metrics for personal bonuses and rewards. Develop John Smith’s individual personal plan (IPP) based on those metrics, or with great weight on those metrics. John will understand very well that his personal accomplishments have a direct impact at the organization’s strategic plan.
As stated at the opening paragraph of this post, these 3 steps are not all there is to strategy development and deployment (consider for example leadership involvement, change management, ongoing market conditions, HR policies, etc) but they do provide the practitioner with a solid start. EZSigma Group has recently launched its strategic management practice. If you are looking for more information on how you can make your organization an aligned one – strategically speaking – contact us and book an appointment. We would be pleased to help you out!