At Horizon we understand Strategic Planning is not an event, but a very detailed process requiring resource commitment, expertise and dedication. Our approach is to assist clients by providing a structured and guided approach to the development and execution of business strategy.
It begins with a look backwards into what was committed to versus what was achieved. Identifying past efforts and the resulting wins and missteps, as well as strengths and weaknesses should be examined and understood. This analysis represents a significant leading indicator of how the organization will perform going forward.
We deploy a process called “Curb Vision” to provide our clients an unbiased assessment of key observations and findings. Curb vision is how things appear minus any explanations or justifications. Often these observations and findings identify where organizational blind spots exist..
After we have got a clear concise view of the present state of the business we assist our client to develop the desired future vison of their business. This is accomplished by answering the four key questions to determining the best fit in the chosen market segment. The four questions are:
- What is the market we are addressing? (Understanding the needs and consumers)
- Why and how does this market exist/ operate? (How was this market segment created and why. What are the 5 forces at work.)
- Who are the market leaders? ( All markets have market leaders who dictate how the market operates)
- How do we identify a defensible niche? (Developing a targeted solution that is unique and attractive to specific target customers)
Next we facilitate an exercise to formalize the Present State , including a SWOT analysis and / or other tools and then a visioning exercise to determine the Desired Future State.
The outcome of this process is the formalization of “The Gap”. The gap is what has to be overcome to realize the Future State. With a solid gap analysis, the business understands the detailed requirements that have to be accomplished to attain the Future State .
Now we are ready to develop the business strategy. Making strategy real and achievable requires ensuring we address the what and the how. The “what” is specifically what needs to change to make achieving the vision possible. The “how” is about creating the right environment to support the transformation. Here is how you tell if you have a viable strategy versus a poor one. A poor strategy fails to address the what and how.
“Rome was not build in a day nor was Amazon. They began small and developed into what they are today.”
To be successful we recommend a backwards engineering approach to build a detailed roadmap of how the plan will be achieved. Breaking the plan into 90 day intervals keeps the plan active and allows for adjustments / evolving strategy. All plans encounter road blocks or unforeseen events that need to be incorporated to ensure the strategy remains achievable.
A key to successful strategy transformation is the engraining of the strategy into the business. The strategy not only needs to be well understood it has to be active and not a secondary activity.
Change, to be effective must be core to how the business operates. By involving everyone at all levels of the business the strategy is made real and active.