2018, An Interesting Year For Strategic Execution
Throughout 2018 we had many conversations with organizations from a wide range of industries, geographies and sizes, and they all had a similar theme: they asked the same questions, and raised the same concerns about the approach they were taking to strategic execution.
The ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions has been reinforced as we compare the trends from the 2017 calendar year with 2018.
Although, on an average basis, the total number of ‘strategy blocks’ (describing a specific strategic key result area or activity) continued to grow, the activity relating to those blocks grew at a staggering 25%. Therefore, on average individuals within organizations were interacting with their strategic plan 25% more frequently than they did in the previous year. Supporting this activity, we saw continued growth of 10% in the creation of new metrics (KPI’s). The biggest change, however, was total risk activity with year over year growth of a whopping 35%.
Having a well-defined and well-considered strategic plan is critical, but ensuring that the organization is ready to accept that plan being “operationalized” is very important to its success. A strategic plan that the organization doesn’t understand will be received with caution and negativity. Senior leaders needed to ensure that the whole organization had the opportunity to consider the plan and that it was communicated clearly. Accountability for performance needed to be turned into positive force rather than a potential threat. That means enterprise “buy-in” organization wide was critical for successful execution of strategy and will continue to be.
It has been the year of “strategic performance dashboards” and the interest shows no sign of slowing down. In the last 12 months, we have moved from sharing a simple dashboard between users, to highly-graphical, public dashboards which can be published to individuals or the entire organisation. These public dashboards can be assigned to new owners, back and forth for collaboration and review, creating a managed network of interconnected and real-time strategic dashboards.
What we saw in 2018 was a greater level of strategic interaction, a growing desire for real-time performance information, and more complete strategic plans including activity, measurement and risk.
StrategyBlocks is looking forward to 2019, it will be a big year. Thank you to all our fantastic customers for their feedback and support.