Exercise 1 – Q-Sort
Check the strategic vision is shared by comparing the priorities of the board, management team and any other key staff.
- Get the Board or CEO to make a list of at least 18 specific goals, in order of priority.
- Create a new list of these goals in a random order. Give this list to all the management team and key staff and ask them to organise them by priority.
- Calculate the correlation between the CEO or Board’s list and that of each of the others (easily done in an Excel worksheet)
- The result can be presented in a visual manner with arrows pointing in the same or different directions or as a football field with players kicking into the goal (correlation 1) or in other directions.
Exercise 2 – Strategic Barriers Perception
Determine the reasons for the lack of alignment by questioning the perception of each executive regarding the company’s main strategic issues.
- Make cards for each strategic issue with a brief and clear description of the issue at the top. At the bottom of the card describe a positive scenario (coloured green) and a negative scenario (coloured red). Typical issues could be: market, technologies, competition, customer habits and trends, suppliers or whatever is considered an important variable for the company’s strategy.
- Question every member of the management team about the importance of each factor and which description (positive or negative) best describes the current situation of the company.
- Compare these perceptions to see where divergences occur. A bar graph with the importance given to each factor and another bar graph for positive/negative perception will demonstrate how everyone views the current situation in a visual manner.
If the result is that the strategic vision is not shared (and usually it isn’t) then it’s essential to work on strategy communication and debate. Hold workshops with all the staff, comprising in-depth discussions on every aspect of the strategy until a strategic map is defined and goals are broken down with who is responsible and dates by which tasks and objectives should be accomplished. Any misunderstandings or grey areas need to be dealt with and eliminated.
You can conduct the workshops following this index:
3) Key factors for success
4) Organisational Values
5) Strategic Goals
6) Strategic Map – Responsibilities
7) Goals Roll Down
8) Strategic Map
9) Strategic Plan (with dates & person who is responsible)