How do you get alignment on strategy and connect strategy to execution?

Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing PartnerFounding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

I understand that alignment is not a once and done sort of thing but something that needs to be worked towards. But how do you do this?

I think we can get out of alignment in three ways:

  • Different parts of the company may have different goals, this is often the case with professional services and customer success, where professional services needs to drive revenues at a certain level of profitability (which requires a certain utilization rate) while customer success is often most concerned with renewals
  • The strategy and execution can have disconnects, at Ibbaka we use Roger Martin's strategic choice cascade to address this
  • Individuals and teams may not buy into the strategy, for intellectual reasons or because it does not reflect their own goals

What are you doing at your organization to build and maintain alignment?

Best Answer

Answers

  • Scott SiekmeierScott Siekmeier Specialist, Membership Development Member

    Hi Steven! Great question and one that addresses a critical topic. In terms of relevant TSIA research, @Vele Galovski authored a blog post titled 4 Reasons Why Most Strategic Plans Fail to help companies improve the success rate of their strategic plans. @Bo DiMuccio also wrote a blog about The Obstacles (and Opportunities) of PS Strategic Alignment, which talks about strategic alignment within PS specifically. @Alex Gershman and @Christine Sei, any input on this?

  • Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing Partner Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    Thank you @Scott Siekmeier and @Vele Galovski . Thank you and I will look forward to these sessions.

    Has anyone used Roger Martin's strategic choice cascade? This is also sometimes referred to as playing to win choices based on the book Roger wrote with A.G. Lafley from P&G.

    • Winning aspirations
    • Where to play
    • How to win
    • Capabilities
    • Systems

    I have used this in my own business, with customers, with my children and have recently created two customized versions that we are sharing for free, one for pricing strategy, the other for talent.

  • Vele GalovskiVele Galovski Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Steven Forth I have never used Roger Martin's specific process, but I did look it up and found some universal concepts that I support:

    1) The winning aspirations, ie "The services provider of choice" on page 1

    2) Where to play, ie the selection of breakthrough strategies on page 1

    3) How to win, ie critical to know what successful breakthrough strategies look like and what your current gap is page 1 and page 3

    4) Capabilities and 5) Management Systems, ie what tactics do you need to implement and cascading goals using the "time span of control" concept.

    Another great point is the integrated nature of his 5-steps. To be able to execute your plan, you need to ensure you have the process capability to win. Great process.

  • Christine SeiChristine Sei VP Service Strategy Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    @Scott Siekmeier Thanks for the suggestion. This has been a really challenging year. Steven's third bullet really resonates. What I have to offer is not as sophisticated of an approach as employing Roger Martin's strategic choice cascade, but increasing regular and timely communication cannot be understated. Last quarter we purposefully increased the number of individual touch points with our field sales team members, channel partners, and strategic customers. Market pressures on our business, our customer's business, and as a result, our employees had impacted buy-in and re-prioritization of different aspects of execution. Regular review of data to drive decision-making, considering the needs of the local market, customers, partner and sellers, yielded better overall alignment to strategy and measurables outcomes. I recommend @Martin Dove Sales in the Time of Corona Virus.

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