It’s a tough question to answer. And if you’re not confident your entire team could quickly say what your organization’s strategy is, you should keep reading.
We don’t ask the question to make you feel uncomfortable or to try to make you feel shame. It’s the opposite.
We want to empower your entire organization to understand your strategy, where you’re going, and how you’ll win. Having your team understand your strategy isn’t nice to have. It’s a must-have if you want to achieve your vision of success.
So, in this guide, we will provide you an overview of the three things your team needs to understand, what they are, and how you can pull together a Strategy Storyboard to communicate your strategy.
What are the three things my team needs to clearly understand our strategy?
In this guide, we will focus on three core components of your strategy and how you can communicate them to your team. These core components include:
- Vision: Your bold, audacious vision of the future of your organization. Where you’re going.
- Scope: The domain of your organization, specifically your marketplace and where you operate. Where you play.
- Advantage: Your organization’s core competitive advantages, and what you’ll capitalize on to grow and achieve your vision of success. How you’ll win.
Wait, but doesn’t my team need to know my entire strategic plan? Isn’t that what a one-page strategic plan is for?
We love one-page strategic plans. They’re an amazing, powerful tool in helping your organization understand the big picture of your whole plan from strategic direction to how you’re going to achieve your vision.
But what is different about this exercise and Strategy Storyboard is that it focuses on helping your team understand your strategy.
Your one-page plan will cover more than just these components; the truth is that your team won’t be able to articulate everything on that one-page plan. And that is ok!
Using the Strategy Storyboard Canvas!
Have each team member complete the exercise to review and communicate your vision, scope, and advantage throughout your organization. It’s most important to complete this exercise with members outside of the planning team that may not have developed these planning elements!
Pulling Together Your Strategy Storyboard
Component #1: Your Vision Statement
Where are you going in the future?
Your vision defines the end your strategy is designed to achieve. A Vision Statement defines your desired future state and provides direction for where you are going as an organization. Vision statements are 3-5 years in nature and clearly describe what success looks like and what you’re seeking to achieve.
We have a whole set of helpful exercises and resources to develop your vision statement. If you need to dig in further, here are some helpful resources to reference:
- The Overview on Vision Statements with Examples.
- The Vision Statement Guide and Vision Statement Cheat Sheet.
- How to Write a Vision Statement.
Component #2: Your Scope
Where do you play in the market?
Scope includes the domain of your business—the part of the marketplace landscape in which you operate. For clarity, it defines the boundaries over which you will [and will not] venture.
Scope encompasses three dimensions:
- Customer or Offering
- Geographic Locations
- Vertical Integration
Clearly defined boundaries in those areas should make it obvious to your leadership which activities they should concentrate on and, more importantly, which they should not. This should be clear to your entire organization, not just your leadership team.
These are core components of your organization’s growth strategy. Here are a few resources that are helpful to reference:
- Read about these Sources of Market Data to Consider.
- How to use Data in Your Market Strategy.
- Downloadable Guide to Build a Growth Strategy.
- Use a PESTLE Analysis to Examine Your Competitive Environment.
Component #3: Your Advantage
Why do you win?
Your Competitive Advantage is a strength or capability that enables an organization to meet a customer or market need better than the competition. Competitive advantages are core organizational strengths that are difficult for competitors to recreate or duplicate.
The essence of strategy drives your value proposition—it explains why the targeted customer should buy your product above all other alternatives and clearly describes how your unique internal activities must be aligned so only your organization can deliver that value proposition.
If you need help identifying your competitive advantages, check out these key resources:
- An overview of Competitive Advantages.
- A Free Downloadable Guide on Competitive Advantages.
- Competitive Advantage Cheat Sheet download.
- Using a VRIO Analysis to Identify Competitive Advantages.