A big part of business strategy consulting is teaching organizations about the planning process. The keystones to business planning are creating a strategy, building a plan, identifying accountability and implementing a business relationship structure that supports the goals of the organization.
McGirr Enterpises utilizes a Strategy Management methodology on every project. Strategy Management is a planning approach that entails looking at every part of the business strategically. Often times, organizations limit their strategic efforts to strategic planning. OS believes that every part of the business needs to have a strategy assigned to it.
I created the S.O.A.R. (SOAR) model to illustrate Strategy Management. SOAR is comprised of the following:
Many business leaders believe that the business strategy and the business plan are the same thing. This is a misconception that gets many organizations in trouble. Strategic Planning addresses the goals and vision of the company, the growth parameters, the long term viability of the firm and the desired personality of the company. Where does the company want to go? How do we get there? Who do we need on board? What are we willing to do to attain these goals? A strategic plan is the complete blueprint for the company’s success.
Operations Planning addresses how a company “operationalizes” its strategy. This type of planning prioritizes the action steps that need to happen for the company to move forward. It breaks down the strategy into functional tasks, including time, resources, scope and priority. Over the life-cycle of a company, there will be many “action” plans that help shape and fulfill the strategy. There may be marketing plans, communication plans, sales plans, innovation plans, personnel development plans, etc….
An overlooked component of the planning process is accountability. The lack of accountability causes many plans to fail. Everyone from executive teams to entrepreneurs struggle with this key component of planning. Most firms do not take the time to configure the accountability of the plan. Who owns the vision? Who is responsible for the actions being completed in the plans? Who acts as a check and balance for the tasks? Who is keeping the strategy and the plan on course? Accountability is paramount for successful strategic planning.
It is critical to understand the organizations people, partnerships, culture and communication structure. There should be a deliberate relationship plan that identifying the right people for the right tasks. Relationship Planning is needed to bring a strategic plan to life. It is also needed to keep the effectiveness of the operational plan intact and to support the accountability assignments. Good planning always should take into account the people affected.
A strategy without a plan is a wish. A plan without accountability is a piece of paper. And without having a relationships plan in place, the entire planning process is usually a waste of time. The SOAR methodology I’ve created brings a holistic strategic approach to the planning process. Combining all four critical planning elements with a deliberate and intentional group of decision makers allows McGirr Enterprises to stand apart from other consulting companies.
Strategy Management SOAR Model © Copyright 2011 Brad Closson