So, your business has carefully created a strategic roadmap and now you’ve embarked on the strategic journey…
How do you sustain that journey? How do you ensure that it remains relevant with a laser focus on your strategic goals? How do you pivot when the strategic landscape changes and you need to respond to emerging issues or opportunities?
The sixth episode of my interview with Mykel Dixon is a discussion about how you maintain the strategic journey. We discuss how the best way to make your strategic endeavours perpetual is to ensure that your strategic projects are not. We talk about how using short-duration projects as stepping stones toward your strategic goals allows you to break those objectives down into manageable, achievable steps. We riff on how it creates an immediacy to your strategic execution that allows it to compete with the daily urgent and important – the business of busyness.
Myke and I chat about the fact that the strategic journey shouldn’t just be meandering in the business wilderness. It should be something that business leaders create forward momentum around. To do that you need to be intentional about not only initiating strategic projects but also bringing them to a powerful conclusion. You need to constantly re-connect your strategic activity to the business value that a nimble, adaptive strategy can deliver.
For individual projects this means declaring clearly defined endpoints from the outset – what strategic outcome you’re looking to deliver and in what timeframe. Importantly, you want the project team to shape this endpoint so they feel a sense of commitment to its realisation. When that endpoint is reached you want to look at it from 3 perspectives:
Look back. Determine if the intended outcome was delivered and what the team learned from its delivery that can be applied in the future.
Celebrate and communicate. Celebrate any accomplishments and communicate the project outcomes more broadly across the organisation.
Move forward. Determine what you do with what the project has told you – do you continue to develop the project idea, do you operationalise it or do you shelve/kill the project because it doesn’t create the business value you’d hoped.
For your overall strategic portfolio – the strategic projects that you’re undertaking at any given time – you want to create a routine where you regularly assess that project mix. You want to ensure that:
Your projects have forward momentum and aren’t foundering,
The portfolio is made of the projects that represent your highest strategic priorities, and
You capture any new project ideas that are emerging out of your strategic activities.
This not only connects the projects your business is undertaking to the strategic outcomes that you want to deliver, it also connects your people to your business’s strategic purpose.
In the remaining episodes of this interview series, we discuss how to lead a projectified strategy-making approach. How to effectively use the strategic journey to shape your organisation and your workplace into the business you aspire to become.
As always, I also hope you’ll share the thoughts and experiences that come from your strategy-making activities – your challenges, your successes and what you’ve learned in shaping your business for the future.