Intended Outcome for Strategic Planning Consulting
In our Strategic Planning Consulting program we work with senior leadership to create the culture where strategic direction and operational practices are aligned with what customers want. We call this customer-centered excellence.
Our strategic planning sessions use a highly disciplined approach to align strategic objectives, measures of success, key initiatives and customer priorities. The process uses rigor and a rapid pace to very quickly accomplish what others cannot achieve over months. The result will be a strategic plan that is easy to understand, easy to communicate to all employees, personally relevant to everyone and proven to achieve dramatic results not previously achieved.
There is a fine line between vision and hallucination. This observation is supported by definitions from the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (all italics, capitals or other emphasis is original to the text):
vision (‘vi-zhen) n 1: something seen otherwise than by ordinary sight (as in a dream or trance) 2: a vivid picture created by the imagination
visionary (‘vi-zhe-ner-e) vb 1: of the nature of a vision: ILLUSORY, UNREAL 2: not practical: UTOPIAN 3: seeing or likely to see visions: given to dreaming or imagining
For such a serious topic as strategic planning, these statements could almost strike one as sacrilegious. Yet for those employees not directly involved in the development of the strategic plan, such plans are often viewed this way.
There are a number of reasons strategic planning and the resultant plan can be an expensive, time-consuming exercise that is difficult to implement. Here are a few:
- Terms like objectives, goals, targets, outcomes, outputs, results, measures and metrics are used inconsistently or with such ambiguity as to defy understanding.
- Activities are often confused with results. This can confuse moving the ball with scoring a goal. Milestones that show stages of activity are typical of this thinking.
- Customers are not involved in the creation of the plan, nor are their priorities reflected in it. (See Dimensions 1 & 2)
- Satisfaction with past performance conveys a desire for continuation of what has been, not aspiration for what could be (e.g., goals are already being met).
- Linkage between objectives at enterprise, functional group and personal levels are not obvious or don’t exist at all.
- Measures of success are not tied to senior management performance reviews or compensation, seriously weakening accountability.
- Progress reporting is delegated to a staff function, not included in regular senior management review meetings.
With C3 Inside…
Your strategic planning effort, as well as the plan itself, these problems do not occur. In fact, C3 helps turn your strategic vision of what could be into the new reality everyone can share. The following are some C3 rules of thumb.
Strategic Planning Consulting Deliverables Can Include
A strategic plan with C3 is one that is:
- Embraced (not just tolerated) by senior management
- Designed to include the voice of the customer
- Easily understood and relevant to personnel at all levels
- Tied to budgeting, performance measurement, incentives and compensation throughout organization
- Organizational performance
- Customer success
- Integration of initiatives
- Cross-functional synergy
- Competitive differentiation
- Accountability for results
Every strategic plan with C3 inside meets those criteria. It is also communicated so that it answers the following questions in a way the lowest level person can understand:
- What is our organizational purpose?
- What do we believe and value?
- What outcomes do we and our customers (the voice of the customer) want to achieve?
- What will differentiate us?
- Improvement in which critical few products will accelerate our success?
- How do/will we measure success along the 8 Dimensions?
- How fast and by how much must improvement occur?
- Who is responsible for what action and result?
- How will we sustain our direction?
Description of Approach
We will be using our 8 Dimensions of Excellence model, our Strategic Map, and Rob’s new book MASTERING EXCELLENCE: A Leader’s Guide to Aligning Strategy, Culture, Customer Experience & Measures of Success available on Amazon. Please also see our Strategic Planning Workshop under In-house Workshops and/or contact Rob to discuss your unique situation and alternatives available.