Is this really strategic? Or can this be dealt with outside of the planning process? It’s a question we hear often, especially in organizations that have multiple departments supporting strategy execution.
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the planning process is keeping you and your teams thinking at the right elevation during both strategy creation and execution. Using the time intended for strategic conversations to solve operational problems or issues that aren’t truly strategic is a sure-fire way to derail any planning and execution process.
It’s easy to lose the value of your strategy if you’re not being strategic. So, to combat this problem head-on, we created a flow chart for Washoe County to help their teams identify if an issue is truly strategic and how to go about solving these problems at every step. Take a look:
As defined in the chart, programs, processes, initiatives that help create the future are strategic. Operations improve the current state. This chart is extremely detailed, and it needs to be. In such a large organization with many departments and ideas, the more detailed this chart, the more strategic the organization can be in making decisions.
So, should you create your own flowchart? We encourage it, especially if you’re finding your team hijacking strategic discussions to solve operational problems. To help you get started, here’s a template you can use to quickly build your own chart and outcomes:
For an issue or item to be strategic and appropriate to address during planning or strategic performance reviews, it should meet the minimum criteria:
- It impacts the long-term vision of success or mission of our organization;
- It moves a strategic objective forward or backwards OR is an emerging organizational issue;
- It has broad organization-wide impacts;
- The shift or change is significant in some way.
This is a great start to helping keep your team thinking at the right elevation when it comes to strategy. We hope the template and example we provided help you and your planning team!