One of the earliest requirements of a successful business is laying out clear goals and objectives, and that must be followed by outlining an ambitious yet realistic business strategy to attain them.
In my experience, any strategy is “the art of getting things done.” Simply put, an organization’s success relies on its capacity to implement vital organizational processes and decisions effectively, efficiently, and consistently.
A business strategy will continually guide managerial decisions throughout the organization to help attain leadership’s grand vision in practical ways. And, as years go by and objectives change, that business strategy will need revisiting and updating. But changing a corporation’s strategy can impact how the company operates, modifying everything, including employees’ daily routines and organizational structure.
However, because this strategy is the foundation upon which annual and five-year operating plans rest, it requires occasional review in the light of the changing economic climate and regulatory environment, or your specific industry and market.
Assuring an actionable strategy
Strategy decisions will affect your business operations, personnel and clients. And, anticipating just what will happen when you change your strategy is challenging.
But, it is necessary.
So before initiating or revising, here are four distinct phases I believe will help guide your process:
- A planning phase is essential to allow you and your leaders to develop their strategic vision into realistic, time-bound objectives. Research and testing become crucial in this stage, as you try to get more information about the viability of changes.
- The crucial implementation phase should not be rushed or begun before executives have the plan fully laid out. Here is where the strategy’s potential becomes active.
- The third, monitoring phase is ongoing, becoming a recurrent activity that helps leaders gain insight into the effectiveness of the plan while allowing them to identify concerns of potential issues.
- And finally, in the review stage, leaders analyze data obtained from observation activities and determine whether the strategy needs modification.
Potential positive – and negative – effects
As with any overarching business policy or program, there are both positive and negative consequences when an organization undergoes a strategic transition.
Ideally changing a business strategy will positively impact your organization. Additionally, new approaches can help businesses operate more effectively, efficiently, and agilely. This is advantageous if the opportunity presents itself to quickly enter a new market sector or industry. Changes in techniques can also refresh an organization and allow it reclaim its initial growth rates.
On the other hand, changing business techniques may have adverse effects. For example, internal employee resistance can become a significant threat to effective change if some individuals resist due to perceived personal impact.
The Bottom Line: steer with a strategy
A clear business strategy is the rudder of a well-directed business. But implementing a new business strategy is not an easy task. Even a well-crafted, timely initiative can fail. It needs careful articulation of the company’s changes and makes it compulsory for leaders to develop a comprehensive change implementation plan and devise techniques to overcome any potential barriers to implementing the change.
The more research, planning, and advance communication to all levels of the enterprise, will help ensure that the modifications lift your organization higher and help secure its future.
Tim Noonan, President and CEO at Lockton Pacific Series
Tim Noonan lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Series of Lockton, the world’s largest privately-owned, independent insurance brokerage firm. After Tim took the helm at Lockton before the age of forty, he carried out his ambition to not only grow the company to become one of the top three insurance brokerages in Los Angeles, but he also established a legacy of community service that encompasses more than 100 organizations today. Since 1996, Tim Noonan has driven Lockton Pacific Series’ explosive growth from $6.9 million in annual revenue and 46 associates to a powerhouse team of more than 700, managing more than $215 million in annual revenue. Learn more about Tim Noonan on his website!