The world today is becoming increasingly raplex – both rapidly changing and complex. When the business environment is shaped by this raplexity, strategy must fundamentally be concerned with adaptability.
The faster and more unpredictably the environment develops, the more we must accept that the role of strategy cannot be about accurately predicting what will happen and making inflexible plans
It is rather, to work iteratively and dynamically. To set out direction and create organizational capabilities enabling continuous adaptation to signals in the environment, without losing sight of the long-term vision.
Stratecution as an iterative approach to navigating uncertainty
Since we know that change is a given, perhaps the only constant if we allow ourselves a cliché – we must also hold that strategy should be constantly changing. This adaptation of strategy is at the very heart of Stratecution – we must consistently loop between strategy and execution. This way we can create a strategy engine, that drives the organization forward to an ever-evolving direction. We view this as both a process and a mindset.
Strategy execution pulses in time with the organizational beat
Strategy looping as a process is about improving the way we constantly work with strategic planning and execution in the organization. Firstly, continuous strategic planning should be reflected in the yearly cycle of the company. Strategic planning should happen more than once per year, in line with the organizational beat. Many organizations find that quarterly or every four months give a good balance between predictability and agility. It allows the organization to re-calibrate and re-prioritize in accordance to the ever-changing eco-system. This way we can create coordinated action and reduce the burden of pivoting at scale, at regular intervals. We have found that this is also a powerful method of scaling up local learning to the broader organizational context, in both the what and the how.
Strategic planning as a top-down and bottom-up process of alignment
Strategic planning should also be concerned with how we ensure alignment between the strategy and the actual execution. This requires us to combine engaging common top-down direction toward a shared vision with distributed empowered action throughout the organization. Strategic guardrails and methods of co-creating strategy where groups gather to present their best contribution to the strategy (by frameworks such as OKR's for example) are methods we have found successful in involving a broader slice of the organization in this loop.
Strategy as a mindset of learning and continuous contribution to a direction
Strategy looping as a mindset is about the individual’s and the team’s ability to understand their contribution, and their limitations, to the strategic direction. It is about fostering a growth mindset and a learning culture, where we create the capability to learn as we go in a double-loop, questioning both the what and the how of our execution. We must create an organization that can handle a Strategic Intent that balances both flexible and fixed components over time. Creating a constant purpose-driven strategic conversation on all levels of the organization, making strategy both alive, guiding, and flexible throughout the organization.
Strategy execution requires ownership and supporting institutions
Finally, to be able to navigate strategy at regular intervals and with Collective Intelligence, we need to ensure ownership of the process of strategy. Too many organizations treat the process of strategy as a given, rather than as a craft to master. We believe in creating holistic ownership of this strategy loop, supported by institutions such as a Stratecution Office, a PMO and an Academy. These institutions should have ownership over the process of strategic planning and the learning culture necessary to realize it. This way we can ensure that the organization is better able to balance short-term operations with long-term strategic initiatives. An organization able to act now and build for the futures.
Are you thinking about how the Stratecution approach can help you build your strategy engine?
Please, contact our consultants for more information