Strategy is only successful if you have the process, the people and the execution to deliver the results that you plan to achieve. The process, its people and the execution all derive from the culture of your organization and are the engines that drive success.

Strategy exists as the overarching framework of what you want to achieve and how you expect to reach your goals. Its achievement is dependent on the context of Why, Who, When and How – the cultural aspects of your business.

Why?

This is the purpose behind (and in front of) your company and your strategy. It is the lens through which all vision is focused and all decisions are based. Whether you exist to provide the best customer service, or you want to make a lasting impact on your community or you are more financially driven, the purpose is the soul of your organization – its ethical and moral calculus.

Who?

The people who inhabit your company are expressions of the purpose and culture of the company. By their hiring, they have been given a mandate to fulfill the promise that is inherent in the mission and vision of the organization. They become the service and development machines of the company and need to be provided regular maintenance in alignment to the goals and calibrated with the purpose.

When?

Success is often measured by the time in which it is achieved. Set deadlines and manage scope to limit undue extensions and delays in execution.

How?

The processes, execution expectations and accountability serve as the blueprint and maintenance schedule to this project called Organizational Strategy. Clarity of expectations, proper training and metrics are necessary to successful achievement of the strategy. Keep them simple, visible and timely to review and to allow for adjustment and re-alignment.

Developing the Strategy:

In developing your strategy, you need the tools and framework to ensure the greatest probability of achievement. Any strategy, regardless of its scope and perceived possibility, has a certain probability of success. Improving that probability is the role of leadership and can be supported by a defined methodology within the planning process. Having a clear and accurate understanding of the current model will allow you to see what resources are available and how they can be deployed. Having, again, clarity of the achievement goal (vision, plan, etc.) will allow you to see what gaps exist between the current state and the desired state.

Your role as a leader is to properly fill those gaps to achieve the success. What resources are missing? What technological or operational needs are not being met? How does the message and brand need to be adjusted? Your strategy becomes the manner in which you fill these gaps – the accountability method to closing the gaps. What are the steps needed to get from point A to point B? It can be helpful to start at Point B to visualize what this truly looks like from a people, process and revenue perspective and work your way backwards. The steps and decisions will begin to materialize, becoming more corporeal, tightening focus and building belief in the possibility and the probability.