Actually, We Have a Nice Corporate Strategy. Except Nobody is Living It.
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What typically happens
Companies love writing strategies. It’s fun to create a corporate strategy, stepping away for couple of hours from the daily operation to think big and then thrilling to present the resulted document to the board members. But when it comes to execution, many leaders do not turn the strategy into actions and align them across the whole organization. As a result, a shiny document ends up on the bottom of a drawer or in a folder marked ‘strategy’ on the leader’s computer. At the end of the fiscal year many of them realize that they have not used their strategy to make choices and guide what their people do.
So how do high-performing companies make sure their strategies are effectively implemented?
It may sound as not an easy job, but this is where the OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures) methodology can help. It translates the desired vision into strategic choices and then helps you to run the execution of your strategy consistently day in-day out.
One of the key elements of OGSM is that we don’t expect top management to dictate to their subordinates how every single strategy should be brought to life. Instead, we recommend them to discuss their business unit or function contribution with people reporting them. Then do the same on team and even to individual contributions level. We also request leaders to discover how are their action plans interconnected with co-dependent divisions and keep accountability based on what they are offering them.
On the team level
Our client, a senior Business Unit leader writes: “When we received the Corporate OGSMs, all members of our team set down and developed our team’s OGSM together. Then we derive our personal action plans from the team plans too. For example, on my personal action plan there was a column that said which OGSM strategy do I support with this task or project and that is pretty genius. This goes throughout the whole organization up to every person. Now each individual understands the corporate strategy, how he or she is contributing to it. And I think it really increases the engagement and boosts our ownership for the results.”
This is how cascading down looks in company’s everyday life. It works across geographies, functional units and even working groups. It also creates clarity: with the help of this methodology at one of our clients people finally understood what each department is actually busy about.
Once we integrate our OGSM methodology into your daily working processes it doesn’t require allocation of much time and resources. Our aim is to make it run “automatically” with the help of monthly, semi- or annual check-ups. How to run them? How to deal with new ideas that are always coming up? Let’s discuss in our next blog posts!
When we ask the Leader of our clients about what has changed since they introduced OGSM their response is encouraging. “We are making choices about where we invest our resources. Our organization works across functions and business units, aiming to achieve the same results. The success rate of cross-company projects doubled. People’s contribution to delivering the corporate strategy is now visible for our Leadership Team. We recognize them more frequently and this drove up employee engagement. All of our efforts are now aligned!”
If you wish your company strategy to be the basis for actions across your organization connect us.