Take Your Strategy into High Gear
Research suggests that there are several specific shifts that can dramatically improve the quality of an organization's strategic dialogue and the resulting outcomes. First, start to look at strategy as a journey and not part of some set annual plan. Second, during discussion about strategy, reframe the deliberations as a choice-making exercise instead of a plan-making one. In other words, don’t discuss just all-or-nothing plans, but have strategic alternatives—different scenarios with various levels of resources and risk. Third, stop spreading resources too thinly. This means placing greater emphasis and resources on achieving a few breakout wins.

Another strategy shift is to view performance holistically and not just by the numbers. The strategic initiatives that underpin a plan should be as important as the numbers. “You look at the performance of the system as a whole. The urge to push individual accountability can actually be counterproductive when it comes to strategy, which is really a team sport,” the article’s authors write. Also, there should be a sense of shared ownership in the organization’s fortunes and a clear alignment of incentives to get the full commitment of the team. Finally, recognize that the first step in any grand vision is crucial and should not be overlooked and minimized. After identifying your strategy, work back from the destination and set the milestone markers or goals at six-month increments. This is what strategy professor Richard Rumelt calls “proximate goals,” explains the authors — missions that are achievable within a meaningful time frame.
McKinsey Quarterly (04/18) Bradley, Chris; Hirt, Martin; Smit, Sven
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