Our client, a group of companies headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago in the manufacturing industry. The group, considered a large entity in the region, is engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of more than 20 brands, present in a dozen countries worldwide and growing. The CEO recognized that their strategic planning was not leading to the results required for breakthrough sustainable performance.
After years of growth, the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges to the company. Impact on company morale was significant with such an uncertain future, and though the imperative to have a clear strategy for the group, the company did not have the experience to plan effectively for the future.
The shareholders and leadership team of the company wanted to ensure the company had a clear strategy and strategic direction and that all departments and employees were aligned with the vision, mission and strategic priorities of the company, in short effective strategic planning, engagement and alignment was missing.
In our experience, few companies have a strong strategic planning process that is well supported across the organization. Executives either believe their strategic planning process is as good as it’s ever going to get, or they feel that fixing it would mean devoting even more time and effort to a difficult and tedious process the last thing they want to do. COVID-19 further exasperated this.
We recommended that the group of companies allow us to facilitate the strategic planning sessions. We did the heavy lifting and led the directors, senior executive team and a select group of additional senior managers through a comprehensive team-based Strategic Planning Process. We led the company through a rigorous planning process and were then able to complete the planning exercises in a short timeframe. We were also able to quickly craft a strategic plan that showcased an integrated corporate strategy map. We used this as the basis to then align departments to the corporate strategy. In addition, corporate, department and employee objectives with associated measures and targets were aligned.
This different approach allowed for a quick turnaround time on the strategic plan and an aligned organization. An unprecedented result of our unique process was that the company, for the first time ever, had a completed strategic plan, strategy map, strategic objectives, measures and targets established for all departments and employees, aligned and ready for execution which was also aligned to and informed the annual budgeting process.
This strategic planning process was aligned to best practice and resulted in the achievement of world class results. The company succeeded at its core strategic intent and have continued to invest in the people, processes and tools that allow them to achieve the most important strategic priorities and adjust as needed to remain cutting edge and relevant as conditions change, even amidst the global COVD-19 pandemic environment.
Our process reduces the traditional time required for planning, focuses the company on those key strategic priorities required for improved results, shares decision making and engages the entire organization at all levels to both think strategically and translate strategy into action. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but we attempt to infuse world-class strategic planning into every organization so that strategic planning sets up breakthrough performance that will truly propel the company to increased levels of profitability that is repeatable and sustainable.
The CEO credits our management and execution of the Strategic Planning Process with “us doing the heavy lifting that made the process easier”, which encouraged the leadership to think more “strategic.”
The plan results in a strategic focus on the company direction with strategies that support sustainable results, a revitalized and aligned organization from the boardroom to the shopfloor, and improved business results described by the client as “breakthrough”.
A critical first step is self-diagnosis: Is your strategic planning process an annual ritual that your organization reluctantly endures? Or is it a means to empower the entire company from the front line to the C-suite, refocus on your vision and mission and work towards it relentlessly? At a time when unprecedented turbulence in global markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic requires bold vision, world-class execution and quick adaptation, the answer can be a game changer or it can help your company weather the storm. It may spell the difference between settling for predictable performance or stretching the company towards a breakthrough you have been searching for.