The 8 Steps to Strategic Success: Unleashing the power of engagement

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Presents a new strategic model, a clear, proven 8-step method for formulating strategy that works in practice, not just in theory. Surveys the most well-known and most powerful strategy models, from Porter's 5 Forces to the Balanced Scorecard.

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Part 1 Engagement on a strategic level

ePub

01

Introducing the strategic dialogue model:

8 steps to strategic success

Our strategic dialogue approach treats strategy as an integral process of formulation, implementation and mobilization. It focuses on content and process: doing the right things and doing things right. It is an iterative process that leads to choices while leaving room to keep options open. And it is an approach the name strategic dialogue says it all that is based on engagement with key stakeholders: what the organization can and will do is not invented in an ivory tower, but in dialogue with key external partners and stakeholders, and is explored and discussed with internal stakeholders. However, a dialogue doesnt imply a democracy: those responsible will still have the final say and have to make the strategic choices.

The strategic dialogue model is an integrated methodology of strategy formulation and implementation which has been developed on the basis of practical experience. It is not a one-size-fits-all standard prescription on how to do strategy, but its a generic approach that you can customize to your organization and circumstances. Every company and every environment is different and requires a customized approach. The strategic dialogue model offers an iterative process which is applicable to a multitude of situations and strategic issues. In the model we identified eight distinct steps, each with distinctive purposes, scope and activities:

 

Part 2 The 8 steps to strategic success revealed

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04

The 8 steps to strategic success what do we aspire to?

Step 1: Searchlight

Objective and results

Step 1: Searchlight is about setting the scope of the strategy process: both content-wise and process-wise. The first objective of the step is to explore and define the companys business playing field, shared ambition, and business scope. It leads to an overview of strategic opportunities and uncertainties, both subject to further exploration, without the inclusion of too many irreversible choices. The second objective of the searchlight step is to ensure that the strategy process is well organized, with the right people available in the right roles and tasks and with realistic planning. Obtaining a team with the right spirit is a particularly crucial part of this step in the strategy process.

THE RESULTS OF STEP 1: SEARCHLIGHT ARE:

Scope and content

In this step, key questions to be answered are:

These questions are of crucial importance as clients and employees both search for companies with whom they can identify. A companys ability to differentiate itself through its identity and authenticity is a unique strength which many companies aim for. It is also the leading principle when making the final choice: do we stick to our current identity or is it subject to renewal?

 

Part 3 Key strategy models

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Models for Step 1: Searchlight

Step 1: Searchlight

Step 1: Searchlight is about setting the scope of the strategy process: both content-wise and process-wise (see Part 2). In this step several strategy models can be used, particularly those that help express ambitions or a vision and mission statement, or models that help define the companys business playing field and business scope.

MODELS THAT CAN BE USED IN STEP 1: SEARCHLIGHT ARE:

Strategy 3.0

FIGURE 12.1   Strategy 3.0

Essence

The Strategy 3.0 model gives companies a conceptual framework about how their strategy formulation process can evolve with changing times. Organizations are often used to a top-down strategy formulation process, which basically aims at making profits for the shareholder. Modern times call for a more participative and iterative strategy formulation, which allows organizations and network partners with whom they share important values to aim for a higher purpose.

Usefulness

This model is particularly useful as a mental framework in Step 1. It allows companies to think about who they are and what they stand for in the world. It leads to fundamental discussions on the DNA of the company and how it fits into the world of tomorrow (regarding trends in the environment, development with customers and owners, values of employees etc). By explicitly discussing the raison dtre and values (passion and purpose) of the organization, the process for formulating strategy is shaped.

 

Part 4 Key engagement methods

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Methods for the participatory characteristic

The participatory characteristic

A strategy process with the strategic dialogue model is characterized by a high degree of engagement and participation. This participative characteristic means on the one hand involving the right people, that is, involving people with relevant knowledge and insights, and on the other involving more people, that is, involving more participants in the strategy process to increase the general acceptance of, and organizational support for, the new strategy.

In Step 1 (Searchlight) there is a reasonably high level of participation, both in the number of stakeholders as well as the board of directors, also management, key employees, (external) experts, key customers and/or key suppliers and in the level of participation of each of those involved.

Step 2 (Outside-in) also usually has a strongly participative character, involving both key (commercial) employees and network partners (including experts, customers and suppliers) to map out future developments together.

 

Part 5 Applying the strategic dialogue

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Points of attention when applying the strategic dialogue model

In Part 1 of this book we introduced the strategic dialogue model, consisting of 8 steps through which strategy can be formulated and implemented. There are two important points of attention when applying the strategic dialogue model. The first is the recommendation of proper preparation and strong facilitation of the strategy process. The second is about recognizing the actual starting point of the strategy process.

Any strategy process must always be prepared in advance. This also holds for going through the 8 steps of the strategic dialogue model. Before the start of the process, the sequence of activities and the different roles of participants (and when they will be required) must be clear to all those likely to be involved. Often a core strategy team is formed in this preparatory stage, a facilitator is appointed and, not least, time is reserved in the stakeholders schedules. Proper preparation will smooth the process. And clear roles and facilitation (with an appointed facilitator) helps to keep the process on track.

 

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