To stay on the growth path in 2020, alignment on a vision, strategy, and key initiatives is essential. By having participation and alignment across your company in the planning process, you can be certain that each team knows it’s part in the success of the company.Last week we covered the first 3 stages of effective strategic planning (click here to recap). This week we cover the final 4.
4. Build your company to support the Strategy
“How to Win” and implementation efficiency starts with organisational design. The company’s structure supports implementation of a company’s strategy. As you plan for any changes to your 2020 strategy, think about the following two questions:
Do changes in your strategy require you to change how your company is structured?
Scale up companies typically structure based on departmental areas, such as sales, marketing and product, but as they grow, other structures may prove more effective, such as business units by solution or geography, cross-departmental or matrix reporting. There is no ideal structure. Every company goes through various changes in their journey along the “S” curve. Whatever structure you agree on for your current journey should last for 1 to 2 years of growth. However, once you’ve selected a structure, it’s important that you maintain organisational consistency for a time.
Do you have the right people to implement the strategy?
The capability of your leaders and teams will determine your ability to achieve your goals. As your company evolves its strategy, it needs to evaluate the talent on hand and determine if additional resources are needed.
Changes to key executive and leadership roles are difficult. It’s not always obvious to see that an existing leader is out of their depth until they miss a target or cause disruption across the company. Ask yourself this question: Is the team I have now the team that I will need in 6 months to get where I am going? If not, then make changes earlier rather than later.
5. Develop departmental plans & budgets
Once the Executive Team has defined a corporate strategy, each departmental team builds a plan and budget for 2020 that supports the company’s goals. A few questions each departmental leader must keep in mind:
· What are the key initiatives that my department needs to implement in 2020 to achieve the overall strategy? In what priority?
· What requires scaling existing capabilities vs. building new capabilities?
· How much additional headcount will I need, and in what type of roles?
· Where will new team members be located? Do we need more office space and regional support?
· What non-headcount investment is needed to support your departmental goals such as tools, software and training
· What is the budget and turnover impact of the 2020 initiatives?
· What are the key dependencies with other departments?
6. Establish a process for implementing the strategic planning and ongoing KPI tracking
To ensure success, all major initiatives need a project plan, owners, and documented next steps and deliverables. Departmental leaders should review progress on a bi-weekly basis and use KPI’s to track output and outcomes. Any new investments should be justified by an expected ROI and prioritised, not only within a function, but across the company. The company should invest in those initiatives that have the highest ROI across the business, rather than one initiative per function.
The overall company plan with budgets, dependencies, dates and timelines is owned by the Finance Director. They are responsible for collecting the data that shows progress against goals and ensuring that all parties are engaged.
7. Communication and launch
It’s critical to keep the Board of Directors updated of your evolving strategic plans and any interdependencies. During the strategic planning process, you must carefully manage the Board’s expectations. One tactic is to brief each Director before Board meetings to get each comfortable with your plans and growth targets. This way, there are no surprises on the day of the Board meeting. Your Board ultimately signs off on your plan and supports your budget and resourcing requirements. Alignment begins at the top and cascades to the rest of the company.
Energising your company requires effective communication, mid-level management buy-in to the plan, all-company meetings, and internal marketing to ensure that everyone is aligned behind the opportunity. Be transparent through regular updates that share progress against goals and discuss both key wins and challenges. All of this will keep your entire company aligned and excited about your growth path.