Send an email to jeremy.tozer @ tozerconsulting.com to request a copy of our Strategy Development and Execution brochure.
Research into 12,500 top teams and 5,000 boards (Kakabadse, 2015) shows that:
A rapidly changing, uncertain, complex and unforgiving climate focuses leaders’ attention on robust, rigorous yet adaptable business decision-making and planning in order to:
Strategy articulates a decision to complete an organizational-level task, or achieve a defined end-state and objectives, together with the reason for doing that (purpose, which gives meaning to people).
Strategy provides coherence between actual capability, external context and strategic objectives, and addresses, in outline, how those strategic objectives will be achieved —how you will compete. It provides a rationale and framework for operational and tactical actions. A strategic plan may outline the preferred course of action at the outset of implementing the strategy —provide direction— but this should be designed and enabled to evolve in the light of actual progress and changing context.
Your strategy needs to have a clear intent or aim, be meaningful to people with a clear and ‘worthwhile’ purpose —this unites people, and actionable —which means grounded in reality and evidence-based, clear, simple, designed with execution in mind, and with a direct link to daily priority of work on the front line.
Our approach is not to tell, but to guide you through a rigorous yet time-efficient, dynamic, engaging, collaborative dialogue which is non-linear, mission-focused, and evidence-based (both hard and soft evidence). We call this decision making process ‘The Appreciation’. This wins both the hearts and minds of those involved: it asks searching questions to clarify your own thinking and the 'social process' secures engagement and ownership. The quality of the dialogue invariably lifts participants' level of thinking and deepens their understanding of the business and the issues faced by colleagues and their teams.
The resulting clarity, emotional engagement and sense of confidence and inspiration that develops makes for true empowerment.
The Appreciation process is probably the most valuable business lesson I have learnt in the last 5 years, it has significantly improved the performance of myself and my team by doing the thinking up front and implementing a Course of Action that needs little or no re-engineering. I highly recommend that every manager takes the opportunity to learn the process, use it every day for problems big and small, and experience the motivating effect of making the right decision every time" Mawgan Wilkins, Director Global Product Services Cisco EMEA
The Appreciation's penetrating question agenda focuses thought and dialogue in this (non-linear) sequence:
The paradox is that the discipline of thinking in this manner —with whatever time and information is available— creates freedom of choice (more options will be identified) and a better quality decision.
Our expert facilitation —incisive questioning and deductive evidence-based discussion— results in leadership team unity, clarity and emotional commitment to a simple, clear and achievable plan.
When repeated at lower levels, the same iterating, recurring flexible mission-focused decision-making 'discipline' (a thought process and a social process), integrates the leadership structure, and makes strategy ‘meaningful’. The questions in ‘mission analysis’ lifts leaders’ ‘level of thinking’ by two quantum steps; it also provides them with direction in the absence of ‘explicit given direction’ and so ensures alignment of thought and activity. The social process (facilitated discussion) secures emotional engagement and ownership. This enables individuals to display their initiative and organizations to develop collective agility.
Outcomes of a facilitated Appreciation include:
We’ve encountered lots of people in organisations who spend their time gathering data to produce measures and reports nobody wants, needs or reads. They continue because of cultural legacies, personal habit, justification for their role’s existence, and/or lack of ‘clarity’ about what actually is needed.
We will work with you to ensure that you measure that which needs to be measured – a balanced range of leading indicators and the ‘final’ measures of success. We say balanced so that a measure does not induce behaviour that raises performance in one area while reducing effort (and resultant measures) in another critical area. We will also help you to interpret the results to derive meaning and thus inform decisions.
The simplest way to derive balanced measures is directly from the ‘campaign plan’ of sequenced tasks on distinct lines of activity that typically results from making a strategic appreciation as described above.