Developing an agile strategy is a never-ending process, which could lead to fatigue among team members. Learn how to avoid this by incorporating alternating rhythms in the strategy development process.
- Because it requires continuous adaptation, strategic agility is a challenging taskmaster. Like any long term program, it can start to feel like strategy is a never ending process, which, of course, it is. If you, as a strategist, be sure to watch out for strategy development fatigue. Where the strategizing process can start to blur for you, seeming like it's simply Groundhog Day. A repetitive sequence that feels like you've been through it over and over again. Now, one way to avoid this kind of fatigue is to incorporate what I call alternating rhythms into the strategy development process.
For example, build in periods that are focused more on incremental changes in strategy, alternating with periods where deeper strategy analysis over the long term is performed. It's also important to continually update the metrics you use to judge the effectiveness of the agile strategies you've helped to develop. You'll need a combination of short term and long term analyses to know if you're helping your organization to reach its strategic goals. Now, if you're in a public company, sure, you'll always have metrics that are important to the investment community.
But make sure you're also tracking on the softer milestones, that can help you judge ongoing changes in aspects like organizational culture and breakthrough innovations, that don't show up as easily on a spreadsheet. Here are three other ideas for making sure you're able to keep at that strategic agility game over the long haul. First, involve new people in the strategy development process. You'll be amazed at how often line workers in the organization are able to inform the overall strategy development process.
Of course the organization's leaders need to be involved, but people in the trenches can have an out-sized impact on the quality of the strategies you develop. Next, ensure there are regular integration points for the organization to synchronize on strategy. Waiting too long to roll out new strategic goals can impact the linemen in key parts of the organization. And, re-energize people throughout the organization by helping them to continually realign their personal and team goals with the goals of the organization.
Spend time collaborating with various teams so you can see how the overall strategy you devise is actually being implemented. That last point is really important for you personally, in keeping yourself and the organization continually revitalized. By immersing yourself in the specific strategy alignment work of particular work groups, you'll find yourself being energized by the dedication and engagement of people throughout the organization. At the end of the day, the agile strategy that you're helping to craft, is only as good as the process by which it's implemented and the people who are implementing it.
If you approach strategy development itself as an agile process, and you're committed to involving people throughout the organization, you'll find that the agile strategies you put in place will help the organization to achieve breakthrough results, not just tomorrow, but long into the future. Good luck.
- Strategy and the pace of change
- Becoming an adaptive organization
- Aligning activities with strategic goals
- Embracing a culture of risk
- Modeling adaptive behavior
- Maintaining an adaptive organization
- Streamlining your processes and practices
- Remaining agile over time