As the new year begins, it provides an opportunity for reflection. Of course, we do this frequently in our personal lives. Now is also a great time to evaluate where your business is headed. Often, we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day to do’s, the month-end targets, and the year-end commotion that we forget what we’re working towards in the first place.
If you don’t have a strategy, now is the time to define one. If you have one, maybe now is the time to dust it off, update it given the constantly evolving market conditions, and, most importantly, test it to see if it is a useful and executable strategy.
Translating a good strategy into action is the most valuable, albeit challenging, step. Whatever your strategies, imperatives, goals, or big ideas are, you must mobilize all layers of the organization to execute them. One way to mobilize is leveraging the following framework:
Often organizations don’t do the work to translate and integrate from one layer to the next. A business strategy may have lofty digital ambitions, but the current business model won’t support it, or the day-to-day operational processes and systems were built to deliver on a strategy from five years ago.
Reviewing your organization’s strategy to business model to operational framework is a good place to start if you want to ensure your business is on track.
As you read through this framework, you might find you’re exactly where you want to be. However, no business, no strategy is ever perfect, and it’s always worthwhile to take the extra time to make sure your execution matches your expectations.
Our Business Strategy to Execution Framework defines three levels of strategy every organization needs to consider.
Level 1: Business Strategy
Everything your company does should stem from your Mission and Values. This is what defines your purpose and sets you apart in a crowded market.
Once your values are defined, then it’s time to look into your Go to Market Strategy – reviewing your target markets, who you serve, what you are offering, and how you are planning on acquiring customers.
Also, no company survives without a good People Strategy, especially today. Ask yourself how you’re supporting your employees, and whether you’re attracting the talent you need to achieve your GTM goals.
And assuming you are looking to be profitable and financially sustainable, make sure you have designed an Economic Model that serves your financial goals as well as keeps you competitive in the market.
With these components of your business strategy defined, it becomes much easier to identify your Strategic Objectives and prioritize how to spend your budget and resources.
Level 2: Business Model
Our framework is a strategic approach, not an execution-focused one. So, taking a hard look at your business model doesn’t mean just measuring against KPIs; instead, use this time to define and refine your organization’s Value Proposition – the reason customers pay you for what they could procure elsewhere.
Your Product and Service Portfolio goes hand in hand with this value proposition; the two should support each other. Your portfolio is the “proof in the pudding”. It should substantiate what you promise you’re delivering to your customers. This means that an intentionally designed Customer Experience (CX) needs to be part of your model – if you don’t have a specific vision for CX, you’ll have a difficult time executing and improving upon it.
The last strategic point to review is often the most overlooked: the Employee Experience. A great strategy and well-designed business model, even if heavily digital, will not come together without the hard work of employees. Ensuring their needs are being met from a professional development, training, and work-life balance perspective will cut attrition and boost productivity. Plus, happy employees make for better customer experiences.
Level 3: Operating Model
While this level is where the tactical moves live, reviewing the operating model from a high level will help you identify strengths and weaknesses going into 2022. Clearly outlining the Business Capabilities required to deliver on your business model is a relatively simple, but critical, step in building your operations. If you look at your product and service portfolio and your desired customer experience, you can inventory said capabilities pretty quickly. For example: We need a customer onboarding capability, we need a mobile dispatch capability, we need a…
Then you need to go a step further to define the key Enablers that deliver on these capabilities. The enablers fall into five categories: People, Process, Technology, Data, and Partnerships. (Partnerships are not required to enable all capabilities.)
Understanding how these enablers should be leveraged will show where you may have gaps in your operating model and, therefore, your strategy. Perhaps you don’t have the headcount and skills to support a new product launch, or maybe the quality of your data is insufficient to support a fast and accurate process.
Bounding these capabilities are the two mainstays of every operation – Governance and Performance. All organizations require governance, both from a legal and ethical standpoint. And all organizations must create performance targets that are actively managed and monitored to ensure that the strategic objectives are being met. Spending time directly aligning governance and performance KPIs to your long-term goals will align the day-to-day operations with the organization’s overall success.
While this framework seems daunting in its comprehensiveness, undertaking a level-by-level review breaks the model into manageable chunks, especially for mature organizations. Moreover, it takes an ethereal strategy and forces you to translate it into day-to-day operational activities – a process that is more effective than defining sweeping strategic initiatives that often don’t deliver the promised value.
However, if you find yourself unable to define any of these key points, reach out to our experts here at RevGen for a quick chat about your objectives. We would love to help your organization outline your strategic undertakings for 2022.
Robert Sunker is RevGen Partner’s Chief Strategy Officer and leads the development and execution of RevGen’s services portfolio.
Heidi Schneider is a senior manager with an extensive background deliveringcomplex business transformation efforts. Sheis passionate about integrating people, process, and technology to make strategy happen.
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