Aligning the Organization with the Priorities of the Plan
By Michael Wilkinson, CMF
Managing Director, Leadership Strategies, Inc.
Many organizations send their executives off to do strategic planning and then have the mid-level managers develop the one-year tactical plans. Far too often, however, the tactical plans are not at all aligned with the strategic plan. The result? Great plans and strategies lay idle while the organization is busy focusing on tactical, day-to-day issues.
The Key Question
When developing your strategic plan, would it be helpful if there were a way to ensure that divisions and departments aligned their resources with the strategic priorities from the plan?
Here is how we help align an organization with the priorities of the plan!
Through using our Drivers Model, we help organizations identify broad goals, measurable objectives, and specific strategies and priorities. Below is an example of one goal area and the relevant objectives and strategies from a corporate strategic plan.
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Note how the goal represents a broad aim, the objectives are specific, measurable targets that begin with a quantity verb (e.g., increase, decrease, reduce), and the strategies are definable actions to be taken, not outcomes to be achieved. We find that this discipline is essential to developing a plan that is implementable.
However having a well-developed plan isn’t enough to achieve alignment. Through this simple example, it is not clear what division or department is responsible for achieving these targets or how these responsibilities fit into their overall resource plans.
To help begin the process of aligning the organization with the plan, each of the objectives and each of the priority strategies must be assigned to the division or department principally responsible for serving as steward to ensure each objective and strategy are met.
|1.||Increase store revenue to $146 million (15% annual growth)|| |
|2.||Increase profit per square foot 20% by third year|| |
|3.||Increase catalog and e-commerce revenue by 25% per year|| |
But responsibilities without resources is a plan for failure. Therefore, each division or department must then create their budgets and plans, being sure to include the objectives and strategies assigned to it from the strategic plan.
In some cases, organizations find it helpful to re-examine their organization structure, compensation plans, and policies and procedures to ensure that these are also supporting the execution of the overall plan.
By assigning responsibilities to objectives and priority strategies and then developing resource plans to support execution, organizations are able to drive the strategic plan down through the organization and ensure that the organization aligns to achieve the strategic priorities of the plan.