Strategy and its execution are a challenge for every organization, especially now with the economic inflection point every company and consumer is facing. Strategic Maturity is where a company develops a cohesive strategy and executes it through the participation of all stakeholders (Board of Directors, employees, suppliers, customers, end users and contractors). Being a class B company further complicates the matter. Strategic maturity is now more important than ever and has become an imperative. Without it, companies will not be able to redefine their business model, and, as a result may not be effective in 2021 and beyond. Senior leaders should know where they stand and quickly develop plans to move their organization to full strategic maturity.
Strategic maturity is a journey that in the past has taken years. In today’s environment, leadership teams do not have that much time. Moving from level 1 where strategy is in the head of one or two leaders to level 6 where strategy and accountability are in the heads of every stakeholder can be a long journey. Very few companies are there today, and many of those who were have taken a step backwards because of the focus on the massive disruption that has occurred over the last 12 months. Fix broken things now and worry about the future later – They did not have a choice.
Now that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, leadership teams have precious little time to get ready for the following:
- A massive release of pent-up demand at the end of 2021
- Permanency of the changes in buying habits for both D2C and B2B companies
- New products and services required for changing buying habits
- Continuation of remote work and its impact on the company’s culture
- Continuing supply chain disruptions
- Development of supply chain resiliency strategies which require Just In Time near the point of consumption
- New regulations and a push for sustainability both at the consumer and government levels
- Workforce diversification and inclusion
- Heavier demands on a company’s technology backbone and the need for new technologies
These are massive strategic challenges for companies of all sizes, especially middle market companies with limited resources and those at an inflection point.
As shown in the green column of the chart above, a company that has achieved strategic maturity has the following:
- Mission, Vision, Values
- One – Most Important Goal (MIG)
- Strategic pillars that are focused on the company’s MIG
- Full alignment on strategic objectives with ALL stakeholders
- Measurable goals and objectives that make every stakeholder accountable to the strategic plan
- Stakeholders who can openly discuss their role in helping the company achieve strategic success
- A collaborative 24/7 cloud based strategic execution system that all stakeholders participate in
One of the ways to jump start the move to strategic maturity is to change to a strategic planning methodology and strategic execution system that are designed to take advantage of today’s cloud-based tools. Now that everyone is comfortable with doing business remotely, Virtual Strategic Planning in sprints provides companies with the ability to have a larger group of stakeholders participate in the strategic planning process. Doing strategic planning in sprints with a broader group of stakeholders accelerates strategic maturity, better aligns everyone to the company’s strategy and makes change management easier. It is possible for companies to jump from light red/yellow to light green in one strategic planning cycle with the proper approach and a seasoned strategic planner as your guide. Moving to dark green and full strategic maturity will take more time, because that requires cultural change as well as a well-grounded strategic execution process.
Here is what the CEO of a $300M/yr client says about our strategic planning methodology:
“Jim and his team at Group50 are seasoned experts in strategic planning, opportunity evaluation and execution. American Textile Company has worked with Jim for 2 years, during which time he has become an integral contributor on our team. From the beginning, Jim was very engaged in getting to know our team, our business and its capabilities. With a well-developed process and disciplined leadership, every member of our group had a voice, which created wonderful synergy and enthusiasm. Jim did an excellent job helping us define and align on key strategic pillars, then building a consensus on the best way to execute them. He was instrumental in making certain we had ownership and accountability for our goals and a way to measure and report on them. Jim took on a tough assignment and did an outstanding job! For middle market companies looking to build a more valuable and diversified business, I highly recommend Jim Gitney and Group 50.”
If you don’t have a strategic plan for 2021 and beyond that you and your team are comfortable with and/or If you want to speak with us about improving strategic maturity in your company via our virtual strategic planning and strategic execution processes, please call us at (909) 949-9083, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or request more information here.
About the Author: Jim Gitney is the founder and CEO of Group50 Consulting. He and the Group50 team are considered strategy, operations, and supply chain subject matter experts. Jim has refined Group50’s strategic planning methodology through many strategic planning sessions with companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. His background includes 11 operational and financial transformations as well. You can find out more about Jim and see 40 recommendations from Group50 clients on LinkedIn.
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