How might we engage company leadership to produce an actionable strategic plan?
ASSEMBLE THE CHALLENGE
Prioritizing competing company initiatives can be daunting . How can we establish priorities that may pivot areas of the business and still maintain the leadership’s alliance behind them? How do we decide which initiatives will bring the most value to the company? Also, what about timeline – how do we ensure that we accomplish priority initiatives in the time allotted?
These were the challenges that Liberty Technology’s COO, Nathan Jones, approached me with. Within four months of joining Liberty Technology, Nathan had identified 12 major initiatives that required both “buy-in” from and alignment of the existing company leadership.
With so many competing initiatives and a 6-month timeframe for completion, we decided the strategy needed to focus on:
Assessing the 12 initiatives for prioritization
Gaining internal stakeholder alignment
We decided to tackle both strategies simultaneously by engaging the stakeholders in the prioritization process via a Design for Action session. We designed this session to have
stakeholders participate in two rounds of voting with discussion of each initiative in between. We focused those discussions around the following:
What value does each initiative bring the company?
Is it economically feasible?
Can it be completed within the timeline?
Through this inclusive and interactive process, Nathan was able to gain stakeholder alignment on the prioritized initiatives using the criteria we developed. The stakeholders indicated they felt they had a voice in the effort. Because of the culture at Liberty Technology, the stakeholders came to the session with open minds, and the ensuing discussions were productive. All participants felt a sense of accomplishment at the end.
Since our collaboration, Nathan reported that they met 85% of their initiatives within the timeline. In the world of strategic initiatives, too often the effort is shelved from one year to the next. Combining the Design Thinking session with Agile implementation techniques created accountability and focus on getting it done. As a company, Liberty Technology plans to incorporate Design Thinking techniques into all aspects of their business.