Why strategy excellence is for everyone
Greg Lipoczi, Business Development Manager at Renault-Nissan Consulting explains why strategy excellence should be inclusive for all in the organisation.
Stability – i.e. steady growth, predictable earnings, and modest modifications to the overall strategic plan – is no longer the primary goal of organisations who are striving for excellence. Increasingly, the only way for today’s companies competing in an era of amplified global competition is to be smarter, more agile and aligned. When a business seeks to differentiate itself, change is the only thing that’s guaranteed and a strategy excellence programme needs to be in place to effectively manage that change.
What is strategy excellence?
A business strategy can essentially be described as a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim for the company in question. In other words, it’s a master plan for working towards a desired end-state at some point in the future. However, the future hasn’t happened yet, which means that it can be neither measured nor analysed. Any stats or figures that can be generated pertaining to the future will always be estimates, and it will take many months or possibly years, before the accuracy of those estimates – and the outcomes of the decisions that were taken in light of them – can be truly known.
As such, at the heart of strategy excellence is outstanding decision-making and change management. Change is about managing the transitions from an old way of doing something to a new way – which is why effective change management is critical to any business project where the way people work is being impacted.
Strategy excellence is achieved when organisations are able to identify and plan their future direction and desired end-state through the development of robust strategies that enable company-wide alignment as the organisation goes through the process of change.
Tools and techniques for strategy excellence
To work towards the desired end-state, companies need a set of tools and techniques that will guide decision-making and keep the whole organisation – its activities and people – working in support of one another.
Lean Policy Deployment (aka Hoshin Kanri) is a strategy excellence deployment model that takes the vision for the company and turns it into a tangible plan of action for all employees to engage in. It’s designed to guide executive management in the process of creating a shared vision for the company and to ensure that the best use of resources is made to realise the vision company-wide.
Policy Deployment begins with a strategic plan to focus on just a short list of key goals that will make the biggest impact to the company as it seeks to achieve its vision and desired end-state. From there, KPIs (key performance indicators) are chosen to provide a means of tracking progress towards those goals, and a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act) cycle is deployed.
Also in the strategy excellence tool chest is V-MOST – Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics. Essentially breaking down an action plan into its key components, V-MOST ensures that the highest levels of organisational objectives are being worked at across micro levels.
Working from the top down, V-MOST ensures that you retain focus on the core goals that matter most to your organisation. As a strategy excellence system, it works to ensure that every Tactic deployed is justified in terms of reaching Strategies, which in turn contribute to Objectives, which feed into the company’s Mission, which is aligned with its overall Vision.
For example, a retailer may deploy the Tactic of decreasing the number of stock checks sales assistants carry out. This is done as a contribution to the Strategy of increasing the number of sales assistants on the shop floor, which helps the retailer meet its Objective of serving more customers. Serving more customers contributes to the retailer’s Mission of selling more products, helping the retailer realise its Vision of expansion and growth.
Roles and responsibilities in strategy excellence
Strategy excellence is for everyone, which is to say that it needs to be a company-wide initiative. Using techniques like V-MOST and Hoshin Kanri will ensure that your strategy excellence programme is engrained at all levels and is driving the business forward towards its desired end-state.
However, it is, of course, important that strategic roles and responsibilities are assigned to the right people to ensure you have the skills, resources and enthusiasm within your organisation to help you achieve your strategic intent.
As such, it will be imperative that you choose team members or employees who have developed – or are keen to develop – strong strategic muscles. It will be necessary to regularly bring together the members of the top team of strategic thinkers, and each must be uniquely positioned to identify the key goals of the strategy excellence programme, debate their implications, and make timely decisions.
Importantly, strategy excellence leaders must also understand what strategy really means in their particular industry. Indeed, thinking strategically in the finance and insurance sector – where proficiency in the implications of the regulatory regime is imperative – is different to applying strategic thinking in the modern auto industry, where a nuanced understanding of things like consumer design preferences and required engineering improvements come into play.
In addition, strategy excellence leaders must be adept at identifying potential company or industry-disrupting changes, as these can make or break companies depending on how well their strategies prepare for them.
Organisations must also ensure that communication between all team members and employees is robust. It will be your managers and leaders who are responsible for motivating employees and communicating the objectives of your strategy excellence programme once it’s in place, and who will ensure that everyone – at all levels – is engaged, inspired, and empowered to take responsibility for delivering what’s required of them at every stage.
Achieve strategy excellence with Renault-Nissan Consulting
In order to remain competitive in the global marketplace, companies need to be as devoted to building and executing strategies as they are to operating issues. Those that do will be able to build robust roadmaps for successful change management that gets results, ensuring that the business is stronger, more stable, and continuously improving.
At Renault-Nissan Consulting, we work with your organisation on a long-term basis so that successful change management and planned processes are put into practice and are effective. Using Policy Deployment and V-MOST Strategy Deployment principles, we identify the changes required in your organisation to ensure it works more efficiently and effectively from top to bottom, and implement the right tools and methodologies to realise ongoing strategy excellence success.
With 28 years’ experience and 300 consultants working in a range of sectors, become more successful and more profitable with Renault-Nissan Consulting and reap the benefits of world-class strategy excellence. Get in touch today to find out more about our Consulting Services.