Want An Effective Business Strategy? Start by Asking the Implementers

Want An Effective Business Strategy? Start by Asking the Implementers

In June, the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company published an article in its quarterly email newsletter (McKinsey Quarterly) entitled: The Social Side of Strategy. It described how an increasing number of companies have discovered the value of opening their strategic planning process to include the broader input of the employees and groups who will actually implement changes specified in the plan. 

This is a major (and logical) shift in the historic strategic management process used by companies (and oft recommended by business-strategy consultants) for the last 4 decades. In our experience, past business strategies were only created based upon vast bodies of market-research data followed by the deliberation, consensus and input of only top company executives. They were indeed created in rarified air far away from the folks who would ultimately make the new (or old) strategy work.

Wilkening & Company has always taken (and advised clients to use) a somewhat different approach to the creation of strategic plans and has written about this in past editions of Corner Office Gazette E-Notes. Clearly, McKinsey & Company is now also following our lead on this subject (it’s about time!).

In the September 2010 edition of E-Notes (which includes the second of a 3-part series on the subject of strategic planning), we discuss techniques & methods for effectively gathering the input (and direction) of diverse groups of employees during the strategic planning process. In our 2010 article, we also discuss why such a process is valuable (and also helps manage your risk). Part of that discussion is reprinted below.

“It is often the case that a very select group of executives and “experts” participate in a company’s strategic planning process. It is seen as a high-level exercise, and indeed it is. However, it can become elitist in nature and may lose touch with the company’s most important assets—its managers and employees. We call them the “fingertips” of the company. Ignore your sense of touch at your own peril.”   (Wilkening & Company E-Notes September, 2010)

Are you about to renew or create a new strategic plan for your company? Consider Wilkening & Company’s proven broad-based approach to research and data gathering. To learn more of the how-to’s, reread our article of September of 2010 entitled: Employee Participation in your Strategic Planning Process. And remember; ignore your sense of touch at your own peril.

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