By Mike Loughrin, CEO of Transformance Advisors
This is the third article in our series on strategy execution.
Click here to start at the beginning.
For many organizations, there are six milestones for launching strategic initiatives.
In this article, we will look at the second milestone.
The next milestone involves gathering inputs from a number of stakeholders. This is critical for strategy development and identifying those strategic initiatives required for success.
The most important stakeholders include:
- Customers: Learn how customers value your products and services and how they rate their overall satisfaction. Collect suggestions for areas to improve and potential new products and services.
- Employees: Seek to understand how well employees understand the current strategy and how their work is directed toward accomplishing any strategic initiatives that are in process. Determine what projects people are working on.
- Leadership: Have your leadership team rate the effectiveness of your current efforts to define and communicate strategy. Assess how well your organization is executing the strategic initiatives and meeting improvement goals.
- Owners: Determine the vision and goals of the owners. For small and medium sized organizations, the objectives of owners can include many things besides just making money. For nonprofit organizations, money is important, but for reasons other than rewarding the owners.
You could also survey:
- Suppliers: Learn how suppliers view your organization and how they value your business. Collect suggestions for areas to improve and opportunities for mutual growth.
- Prospects: Check your sales pipeline and survey prospects to learn how they view your organization. What do they consider to be “order qualifiers” and “order winners”?
- Business Partners: Determine if your business partners see the relationship with you as win-win. Are you a good partner with whom they would like to grow? Find out if they know about all of your products and services. Collect suggestions for areas to improve and opportunities for you to help them.
Conduct or update a competitive strength analysis of your major product lines.
The following example is an efficient method to assess your position relative to selected competitors:
Additional activities could include:
- Compile a list of external trends as understood by each member of your leadership team; one of the most important responsibilities for your leadership team – they are connected and plugged into everything important for your organization
- Using your SIC code, obtain benchmarking reports that leverage data from public sources
- Have each member of your leadership team complete a personality assessment such as the DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) profile
- Conduct other fact finding activities such as a technology review, a financial review, a supply chain audit, or a performance measurement review
Milestone 2 is complete when:
- The surveys have been returned and the results compiled into a format that will provide value to your leadership team
- All other activities, which you desire, are complete and ready for consumption by your leadership team
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