Prompted by reading and reflecting on a recent article “Getting strategy wrong and how to do it right instead” published in McKinsey Quarterly, we concluded that the best place to start is with the “what’s the point” question.
Real, open, informed discussions amongst senior leaders are essential if you are going to get strategy right. In all our experience, the fundamental, “do not pass go” questions flow from this perspective including:
- how will the strategy be used?
- what will people do differently as a result of the strategy?
- what effect will that different behaviour have?
- what benefits should flow from the use of this strategy
- who will recognise those benefits?
- what differences in what things will key stakeholders notice?
- how will those effects be measured?
We find these “what’s the point” questions useful at all levels of our strategic work. Both in defining what we do with, or on behalf of, our clients, what is produced and how it is produced all provide the foundation for getting strategy right.
Whether it’s working across the organisational leadership team interrogating organisational strategy and what it might mean for digital systems, data and technology. Testing for coherence and relative priority of strategic goals and objectives. Or working to review an application portfolio to inform strategic decisions to say invest, migrate or retire key systems. Or developing the set of enterprise architectural principles that technology and organisational leaders will use to test prospective solutions for both business and technical “fit”. All of these strategic activities depend for their success on a clear articulation of what they are for – their point.