Living with a strategy sounds easier than it perhaps is. After the strategic targets are set, they need to be communicated extensively, translated into smart milestones and goals, and committed to by the entire organization.
When the work is done right, it is very powerful - and when not, it leads nowhere. I once worked in an organization where the cynicism on strategic changes had reached the level of ignorance: 'Yeah, the management updated the targets, but it won't affect us, unless they fire us. We'll just keep on doing what we always did.' That can't have been the meaning of the strategy update?
This is the hard part - communication on updated strategic targets, focus areas, must win battles or BSC-areas is so extensive and time consuming. In many cases it seems to be easier left undone and buried under the everyday firefighting and urgent client calls. The only problem is - it won't build the future we thought we are building!
So, how should we set and follow strategic targets and same time to make sure they're decent enough for the next levels in the organization to fathom, to live with it? In order to create major change, there are a few key questions for the management team to answer:
Living with a strategy means that the strategy is really used, updated and followed upon. Sometimes living with a strategy is called a reporting structure, a management system or mostly "just" an organization. Here are some key questions to answer when setting up the target, goal and activity structure:
I haven't seen one perfect answer to the questions above, but rather a hundred suitable ones. It does not need to be heavy nor a sturdy system, but rather a clear understanding of how things work, for us, in this company. Clarity, communication and understanding of ones part in the puzzle.
From my current perspective, the interesting follow-up questions are naturally: 'How do we connect all these levels to the market foresight our company has? How do we keep it coherent and updated?' More on that a bit later in the summer...
In the meanwhile read the two previous posts: