Many companies approach their strategy as a single initiative that is undertaken once a year in order to provide a direction for the company over the next 12 months. Although this can be valuable, it also creates a weakness for many companies – they turn strategy into a routine rather than something that constantly evolves.
At the same time, only reviewing strategy once a year can leave your business with goals that are not suitable for a changing environment. Adjusting these goals more often and in a responsive manner will build a stronger business that isn't just planning strategy for the sake of it.
So what are the benefits of taking a year-round approach to strategy management?
One of the biggest advantages that comes from turning your strategy into a year-round activity is from a more responsive solution. With Deloitte predicting that a majority of Australian businesses are going to undergo digital disruption in coming years, companies in every industry are going to be facing changes to their business model.
For companies, this threat of disruption means that strategy has to respond in real time, rather than waiting for another nine months for their allocated strategic planning sessions.
Senior executives may also find it easier to develop a strategy in the first place, once it becomes a year-round initiative. Rather than trying to cram the whole process of developing a direction for your company into a set timeframe, implementing and adjusting strategy throughout the year will keep decision-makers in touch with business processes.
Finally, year-round strategy makes it easier for managers and senior executives to receive feedback from staff. By incorporating ongoing feedback from those who are responsible for realising a company strategy, the end result will be much stronger than if input is only given once a year.
By taking these steps, companies can develop a strategy planning approach that is flexible enough to handle ongoing challenges, while also providing direction for a company.