The simplest answer to this question is, yes, strategy should be found at all levels of an organization, including the individual and team level.
Creating and working a comprehensive business strategy is becoming more and more important in this increasingly competitive global economy.
Strategy must exist at all levels of an organization in order for the organization to glean the most competitive advantage out of it. Because of this, a strategic plan must be found at the:
- Corporate level: this strategy must address the overall scope and purpose of the organization to meet stakeholder needs and expectations.
- Business Unit level: this strategy must address how the organization plans to compete successfully in a given marketplace.
- Department level: this strategy must address how each Department in each Business Unit plans to successfully contribute to the Business Unit and Corporate strategies.
- Team level: this strategy must address how each Team in each Department in each Business Unit plans to successfully contribute to the Business Unit and Corporate strategies.
- Individual level: this strategy must address how each Individual in each Team in each Department in each Business Unit plans to successfully contribute to the Business Unit and Corporate strategies.
Leaders at each level of the organization must be made aware of the strategic plans above it so every individual in the organization—from the Executives to the cleaning crew—understand the overall purpose and direction of the organization and can make daily strategic contributions to that end. You can call this cascading strategies.
Each level of the organization is comprised of individuals that should be working towards the strategic goals of the organization level they represent. Moving towards the strategic targets of each organization level takes the coordinated efforts of individuals—people like you and me—to get the work done. CMOE developed a methodology for creating and executing a strategy and called it Applied Strategic Thinking™.
This methodology helps everyone, no matter what their position is in the organization, gain clarity on their role in the strategy and operations process. The seven parts of the Applied Strategic Thinking™ Model works as a guide, or a map, through the terrain that is strategic planning. For more information about Applied Strategic Thinking™, call +1 801-569-3444, or e-mail [email protected] for more information.
Accountability at all levels of the organization is key to effective strategy execution. One of the most effective tools to use to track accountability for individual work efforts is the scorecard. Scorecards should show in a simple, easy-to-read manner what individuals are doing to help the organization hit strategic targets.
The most effective forum to display and communicate about scorecards is a regularly scheduled accountability meeting. It may be necessary for each individual to use and track their progress using multiple scorecards: one for each area of responsibility the individual is accountable to. CMOE presents a workshop called Bottom Line Leadership that goes deep into the process of scorecarding for organizations of all sizes. For more information, give CMOE a call.
In conclusion, strategy should be present at all levels of an organization. Every organizational nook and cranny should be filled with strategy. Moving to a strategy-based business model is not difficult, but it does take effort, and CMOE can guide you in the direction you should go.