strategic-process The strategic process – an orgtology perspective

To succeed, any organisation must thrive in a fast changing and dynamic world. The effect of this is that strategy must be intelligent and dynamic. It might be that much of what you know about strategy is obsolete. Research shows that old ways of creating corporate strategy will not sustain the growth and change that many organisations need.

Orgtology gives a scientific way on how to develop strategy. In so, it teaches how to craft a favourable future for any organisation. The orgtology strategy development process is extremely unique and practical. What sets it apart from traditional methods is that it incorporates operations and strategy development into one interdependent system. Instead of forcing a linear relationship between the two, we assume that running and changing the business are two distinct parts of one interdependent whole. Running the business is an operational issue. It bakes the bread. Changing the organisation is a matter of strategy. It negotiates the need for bread.

In this essay, I give a practical solution to strategy development that I set out in five easy to follow phases.


Basic assumption on the strategic process

If we understand the current and desired realities of Org, then we will be in a better position to define the change it needs to create. Strategy is a plan that closes the gap between where we are and where we want to be.


Flow of the strategic process

The strategy development process flows through five phases. The first aims to grasp what and who Org is. In the second phase we aim to understand the reality of Org, what its problems are, etc. In the third phase we strategize. At this point we should know what to change. The fourth phase is where we create our implementation plans and during the last phase, we monitor and lead. I shortly describe each phase in this essay.


The Strategy Development Phases - an Orgtology Perspective


Phase 1: Identity and definition

This phase aims to understand the purpose of Org and what it wants to do with such purpose. To know the purpose and intent of an entity is foundational to orgtology. It helps us to grasp the duality that we describe in Hypothesis 2x. Purpose becomes the receptive part of Org, whilst intent defines it projective part. In so, intent drives the X-Factor within Org.

Once purpose and intent are clear, we aim to grasp desired behavior and modus operandi of Org. The last mentioned is defined as organisational values and a business model. Jointly, purpose, intent, values, and a business model should give us a clear picture of how Org identifies and defines itself.

Org is a system, driven by purpose, through a myriad of processes. Purpose thus defines Org. All organisational processes begin through a purpose. Since humans control Org, there must be rules of behavior. We know these as the organisational values. To know the ambition of Org, we must define its intent. We must also know how Org plans to sustain itself, which is its business model.

Through understanding organisational identity and definition, we set the table for a high-power strategy.


Phase 2: Current reality analysis (DOEP analysis & report)

 In orgtology, we use DOEP to grasp the current reality of Org. DOEP stands for people Dynamics, Opportunities, risk Exposure, and Process efficiency. It replaces the old SWOT analysis, where one will split Org into internal and external parts. As systems across the globe integrate, the concepts of "internal" and "external" becomes increasingly hard to split. Even traditionally this split was not sound. E.g., is the governing board internal or external?

DOEP focusses on the operational realty of Org. It analyses how people interact, what opportunities it has, how exposed it is, and how efficiently it runs. DOEP can be as simple as a board room discussion or as complex as an ongoing research project. It forms the basis against which we assess any needed change. I.e., it helps us to define the strategic objectives of Org.


 Phase 3: Strategic intent and direction

At this point, we know what Org is, what our rules of behaviour are, where we want to go, and what our business model is. We also know what our opportunities and risks are, as well as which dynamics and inefficiencies are causing us problems. This data should help us understand what we must change to stay relevant.

In orgtology we use the 5V Model to define intent. It defines five vision statements, which creates a strategic ladder through which we can define the future of Org. It begins with an ultimate non-quantifiable dream (V1) and then works down to a highly quantifiable 12-month goal.

The DOEP analysis and the 5V model should now create a gap between where we are and where we want to be. We close this gap through strategy. To create strategic objectives is an extremely important part of the strategy development process. If we get this wrong, we can endanger the existence of Org. Strategy and operations create an inverse relationship, because they draw from the same resource pool. Therefore, we must choose our strategic objectives carefully. As rule of thumb, I recommend a maximum of four and a minimum of two. Mostly, three strategic objectives would be a good benchmark.


Phase 4: Implementation plan

In orgtology we use project management method to implement and execute strategy. It begins with a high-level work breakdown structure, where we translate objectives into strategic programs. Each program holds several projects. In turn, each project has clear boundaries in terms of tasks, cost, risks, and performance. In so we can precisely execute any project, which makes strategy execution precise.

In my time I have implemented dozens of strategies through project management method. One complaint we never get, is that our strategies are not implementable. In cases where strategy does not get implemented, it is because a project manager is not doing his/her job. Project management method is one of the most tried and tested implementation methods on the planet. It holds clear rules, timelines, milestones, etc. There should be no excuse for not implementing strategy at this point. It is just a process.


Phase 5: Monitor and lead

Through project management method, we can precisely implement and execute strategy. In larger organisations, a project's office will manage project cost, completion, and quality. This is good practice since it allows the project manager's feedback to focus more on substance than on process. It also prevents a situation where the referee is also a player.

Yet, apart from project progress, we must also monitor achievement of operational targets, since that is what strategy must enhance. Strategy is an expensive exercise, thus the change that it brings, must be worth the risk. Positive change in operational targets should show the R.O.I. of strategy. This is a mistake that may organisations often make since they focus their success on the completion of strategic projects.

Of course, all these metrics will mean little if we do not carry out our intent. The change that brings us closer to our ultimate desire is what keeps Org relevant. Therefore, the 5V model is the ultimate benchmark for effective strategy.

Lastly, and importantly, people must be motivated to engage with the change that Org needs. This is an issue of leadership.


 Conclusion

During my time as strategy development consultant, I have tried and tested a myriad of methods, including the well-known balanced scorecard. Yet, in my experience, the process described above is the most solid method by far.

I honestly believe that we can change the world for the better if we begin changing things in a more scientific way. Most organisations spend vast amounts on fixing things that needs no fixing. Also, many organisations go under because they failed to fix things that needed fixing. Through the orgtology approach, we offer a scientific way of understanding what to fix, and then giving a process on how to do so.


Originator of Orgtology

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Join the Orgtologist Certification Program (OCP) and become a Certified Orgtologist with the International Orgtology Institute

The program is highly suitable for senior managers, directors, executives, and those who aim for senior positions within an organisation. The OCP has four parts. They are: orgtology theory, organisational design, strategy, management and leadership. This is an advanced program. To enroll, you must hold a bachelor's degree with three years of work experience. On completion, you can enroll as an Orgtologist with the International Orgtology Institute (IOI).