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Strategic Goals Grid (SGG) – Another tool for Strategic Planning

2 Oct

One of the most popular Strategic Planning tool among executives is the SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix).  However, sometimes assessing the organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is not enough to set the direction for the planning process or to implement Business Transformation.

An alternative framework to SWOT analysis is the Strategic Goals Grid (SGG).  The SGG gives planners a different perspective to view the organization, the direction it has taken, the course that the collective wisdom of the organization wants to take, and to set goals.  SGG is an extremely effective overall Organizational Analysis tool for senior leaders responsible for Planning, Strategy Development, Transformation, Growth, and Profitability.

SGG is a 2×2 matrix, fashioned by examining the “Yes” and “No” answers to 2 critical questions:

  • Do you want something?
  • Do you have it?

The combination of the “Yes” and “No” answers to these questions define 4 basic categories for goals and objectives:

  1. ACHIEVE – if you want something you do not have, your goal is to obtain it.
  2. PRESERVE – if you want something you already have, your aim is to keep it.
  3. AVOID – if there is something you do not want and do not have, your goal is to avoid it.
  4. ELIMINATE – if there is something you do not want but have, your goal is to get rid of it.

These 4 categories of goals—ACHIEVE, PRESERVE, AVOID, and ELIMINATE—constitute the Strategic Goals Grid when drawn on a 2×2 grid.

The Strategic Goals Grid can be used to facilitate discussions and to record and communicate the results of such discussions.  Individuals can complete the grid separately and then compare, discuss, and integrate their individual efforts into a consolidated matrix.

SGG can be employed for kick-starting the Strategic Planning process in 3 progressive steps:

  1. Visualize and Document
  2. Coalesce
  3. Synthesize and Align

Let us dig a little deeper into the individual framework steps.

Visualize and Document

The 1st step in formulating the Strategic Goals Grid is an individual exercise, which takes about 15 minutes to accomplish.  The step entails taking input from all relevant participants of the Strategy Development workshop.  The activity requires from the participants to write their responses on individual copies of the Strategic Goals Grid.  The participants record their input regarding the critical questions of what to ACHIEVE, PRESERVE, AVOID, and ELIMINATE.

The question, “What do we want to eliminate?” is very effective in triggering group discussions on any issues that exist across the organization.  The question, “What do we want to avoid?” focuses the group’s discussion to anticipated issues and/or threats to the organization.

Coalesce

The 2nd step is a group activity, where the strategy development group engages in an exercise in which individual responses gathered during the first step are shared with the participants.  The individual responses are projected on a large screen and recorded on a computer.  Using one quadrant at a time, the group evaluates the list and repeats this process for all quadrants.  The list of individual responses becomes the collective wish list or the collective wisdom accrued over a period based on realities faced on-ground.

Synthesize and Align

The 3rd step is also a group exercise that entails rationalizing the responses gathered in the previous steps through discussion and analysis.  The list is carefully scrutinized and trimmed considering the objectives for the future.  These objectives are aligned with the priorities and values embodied by the organization.  The list of individual responses are refined and a consensus is developed on the finalized list.

Interested in learning more about the Strategic Goals Grid, its utilization, benefits compared to SWOT Analysis, and how to populate the grid? You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Strategic Goals Grid (SGG) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics. Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy. Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

Learn about our Strategy Development Best Practice Frameworks here.

First Law of Digital Transformation: 3 Key Elements to Manage Digital Transformation

21 Feb

Digital 2

Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder, observed that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years.  He projected that this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade.

His observation, termed the “Moore’s Law,” has correctly predicted the pace of innovation for several decades and guided strategic planning and research and development in the semiconductor industry.  Moore’s law is based on observation and projection of historical trends.

In 2015, Gordon Moore foresaw that the rate of progress would reach saturation.  In fact, semiconductor advancement has declined industry-wide since 2010, much lower than the pace predicted by Moore’s law.  The doubling time and semi-conductor performance has changed, but it has not impacted the nature of the law much.

Although many people predict the demise of Moore’s law, exponential growth in computing power persists with the emergence of innovative technologies.  Moore’s law is only part of the equation for effective Digital Transformation—there are other contributing factors including the role of leadership.

First Law of Digital Transformation

George Westerman—a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management—proposes a new law, which states that, “Technology changes quickly, but organizations change much more slowly.”  The law known as the “First Law of Digital Transformation” or “George’s Law” is a pretty straightforward observation, but is often ignored by the senior leadership.  This is why Digital Transformation is considered more of a leadership—than technical—issue.

Just announcing an organization-wide Transformation program does not change the enterprise.  According to George’s Law, successful Digital Transformation hinges on the abilities of senior leadership to effectively manage the so many contrasting mindsets of its workforce, identify and take care of the idiosyncrasies associated with these mindsets, interpret their desires, and focus attention on encouraging people to change.

Above all, the leadership should focus on converting Digital Transformation from a project to a critical capability.  This can be done by shifting emphasis from making a limited investment to establishing a sustainable culture of Digital Innovation Factory that concentrates on 3 core elements:

  1. Provide People with a Clear and Compelling Vision
  2. Invest in Upgrading or Replacing Legacy Technology Infrastructure
  3. Change the Way the Organization Collaborates

Let’s now discuss the first 2 elements of the First Law of Digital Transformation.

Provide People with a Clear and Compelling Vision

Without a clear and compelling transformative vision, organizations cannot gather people to support the change agenda.  People can be either change resisters, bystanders, or change enablers.  However, most people typically tend to like maintaining the status quo, ignore change, or choose to openly or covertly engage in a battle against it.

For the employees to embrace change, leadership needs to make them understand what’s in it for them during the transition and the future organizational state.  This necessitates the leaders to develop and share a compelling vision to help the people understand the rationale for change, make people visualize the positive outcomes they can achieve through Transformation, and what they can do to enable change.  A compelling vision even urges the people to recommend methods to turn the vision into reality.

Invest in Upgrading or Replacing Legacy Technology Infrastructure

Problems and shortcomings in the legacy platforms is an important area to focus on during Digital Transformation.  The legacy technology infrastructure, outdated systems, unorganized processes, and messy data are the main reasons for organizational lethargy.  These issues hinder the availability of a unified view of the customer, implementing data analytics, and add to significant costs in the way of executing Digital Transformation.

Successful Digital Innovation necessitates the organizations to invest in streamlining the legacy systems and setting up new technology platforms that are able to enable digital and link the legacy systems.  Fixing legacy platforms engenders leaner and faster business processes and helps in maintaining a steady momentum of Innovation.

Interested in learning more about the First Law of Digital Transformation?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on First Law of Digital Transformation here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

7 Key Imperatives to Design a Breakthrough Customer Experience

1 Nov

The constant advancement in technology has raised the expectations of customers in terms of their interaction with companies.  This digital disruption is also forcing businesses to develop new capabilities and explore innovative ways and means to deliver improved Customer Experiences.

Organizations can overhaul their Customer Journeys by embracing latest digital insights and practices.  To develop a truly exceptional, breakthrough Customer Experience, organizations should work towards adopting 7 key imperatives:

  1. Develop Customer Empathy
  2. Design the Complete Customer Experience
  3. Reinvent the Customer Experience
  4. Lead the Way with Industry Rules
  5. Become an Agile Organization
  6. Continuously Improve and Iterate
  7. Foster a Culture of Collaboration

An organization does not need to execute all 7 of these imperatives—it varies from case to case depending on the circumstances, market, and customer requirements.

Let’s, now, discuss the first 4 imperatives in further detail.

Develop Customer Empathy

Many firms use surveys and face-to-face interviews to gather firsthand customer insights to enhance their Customer Experiences.

However, when designing Customer Journeys—in addition to customer data—companies need to understand their customers’ behaviors deeply and put themselves in their customers’ shoes.  This entails knowing the complexities the customers face during various journeys and developing new ways to understand Customer Journeys—for instance, by making researchers accompany customers while shopping, by asking customers to report their activities and provide feedback as they interact with various offerings, and involving customers to provide their input on early versions of proposed offerings.

Design the Complete Customer Experience

Most people consider that design pertains only to good artwork, outlook, and appearance of products.

However, it involves not just the look and feel of a product but also the way it operates.  To render breakthrough Customer Experience, companies need to fundamentally shift the way design is perceived—not just the user interface design rather designing the overall Customer Experience.

Great Customer Experience design encompasses crafting every interface the customers have with the provider from the minute they consider a purchase.  It warrants enrolling all people that can make a difference to the customer (especially from the operations and IT units), mapping out customer touchpoints, and transforming fundamental systems and processes.

Reinvent the Customer Experience

Improving current Customer Journeys enables achieving incremental cost reductions and quality enhancements.

However, to improve Customer Journeys there is a need to shift the way Customer Journeys are perceived—from merely addressing the issues in a Customer Journey and streamlining a process to completely transforming the entire Customer Experience.

This should be done by carefully deliberating on and thoroughly analyzing all journeys from a customer’s perspective, drawing inspirations and studying benchmarks from other industries, and addressing customers’ needs.

Lead the Way with Industry Rules

Financial institutions are, to this day, quite cautious of utilizing technology to verify customers’ identification documents for deposit account opening.  Compliance teams at these institutions often resist the efforts to transform customer account opening journeys, as they exercise extreme care to ensure regulatory compliance.  Some banks make the customers fill their applications online but ask them to visit a branch with the completed paperwork, resulting in a cumbersome Customer Experience that is no longer acceptable as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Leading organizations strictly adhere to laws but demonstrate to the regulatory authorities how technology has helped them break the status quo surrounding regulatory compliance and develop innovative solutions to manage risks and compliance better.

Interested in learning more about the other imperatives key to developing a breakthrough Customer Experience?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Breakthrough Customer Experience (CX) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.


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