Strategic Action Team

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Today, the field of strategy and strategic planning is in a state of turmoil. Traditionally it was the domain of top management, strategic planners and strategy consultants, but there have been “barbarians at the gate” for a decade or longer. Strategy is as much emergent as planned, and managers need to learn about “crafting strategy” — not just setting strategy.

It is helpful to break up the power monopoly that top managers hold around strategy. Often “strategic orthodoxy” is the greatest enemy of new strategy, and often senior managers are the defenders of this orthodoxy. The real leverage is not in creating the right strategy, but in increasing managers’ ability to surface and test assumptions that lie behind the strategies they advocate. The real territory for strategic dialogue is the mental models managers hold.

Meet the Challenge of Strategy and Purpose

The objective is to actually implement your company’s Strategic Plan. We recommend Strategic Action Review (SAR) sessions to accomplish this. These sessions:

  • Engage people continually around organizational strategy and purpose
  • Expose and test the assumptions behind your current strategy
  • Focus on developing better strategic thinking and ethical thinking capabilities
  • Produce quicker results by focusing on the important but not urgent issues.

Strategic Action Review (SAR) participants are given the support they need to monitor and evaluate the effects of their strategic initiative. People must understand, and be prepared to question, the assumptions and action plans that took great effort to develop in earlier stages. At the same time that they stick to the plan, they measure progress and success.

Action and Implementation

The strategic team includes the current Executive Team along with additional key managers. Six bi-monthly, half day sessions engage participants in these five activities:

  • Scanning: Developing strategies for effectively reading the market
  • Thinking: Pressure testing current explanations of reality and models of business
  • Choosing: Deciding on the future of the marketplace and how best to compete in it
  • Planning: Operationalize the choices
  • Implementation: Executing the actions that the organization has agreed to.