Want to find out more?

  • In this series of blog posts, I’m going to give you some awesome insight into what some of the biggest organisations still fail to do effectively, and give you the five top tips to fundamentally transform your organisation.

How to Fundamentally Transform Your Business Part 4: Strategic Objectives and Strategy  


26 November 2016
Culture
3 mins

This is our final post in our series on How to Fundamentally Transform Your Business.  So far we’ve covered visionvalues and purpose as three aspects you can’t ignore if you want to transform your business. This post concludes our series by looking at the two sides of strategy, starting with:

 

Strategic Objectives

Objectives are both milestones and cornerstones. They should become clear once you’ve created a vision. To help with the process, imagine yourself in a business that has truly achieved your vision. Work backwards from there to the present day. On that journey through time, what are the core components that enabled this?

To keep it simple remember these are just things that you need to turn your vision from a hallucination into a reality.

When a vision starts to crystallise into something tangible, more people will buy it. And aligning everyone’s personal objectives to your strategic objectives makes this work even better. This is one of the key parts of good people management.

Finish with a couple of simple questions:

Are these strategic objectives the keys to unlocking our vision?

Yes.

Is everyone in the organisation working towards fulfilling these objectives?

Yes.

Great, move on.

… To the final tip:

 

Strategy

A beautifully cynical former CEO of a billion dollar revenue PLC once said to me, “Don’t kill yourself creating a complex strategy. The details of the most successful strategies you read about are filled in after the event...” 

Your strategy is your plan of how you’re going to get from A to B, how you’re going to complete the strategic objectives and how you’ll make the vision a reality. It can traverse multiple logical levels, so start high and work down into a bit of detail, but not too much.

While a vision is by necessity a snapshot of the future, a strategy needs to be simple and really, really clear. From a leadership perspective, it’s critical to create a simple strategy that people can bring to life. The more detailed you make it, the less ownership people will feel. 

Instead, start your strategy with a catchy statement, something that will prompt a feeling of ‘I get it’.

You will however need some level of detail. Start with explaining why the strategic objectives are so important. Then follow up by looking at your market place. What changes are happening? How do they play into your ambitions? What things are you going to connect, and in what sequence, to make an outcome that will work for the organisation? There are many ways to skin a cat, and there will be many strategies that will be successful for your organisation, so pick something that feels right and that is the most likely to get buy-in.

Because it’s awesome, I’d suggest reading about Blue Ocean Strategy. The premise is that if you have competitors, like most businesses, then you are all frothing around in a red ocean, attempting to differentiate with clever new ways of describing your products and services but not really much else. This approach uses new thinking to create differentiation and, ideally, reduces costs of delivery to push into a blue ocean of uncontested market space. I mainly love the metaphor but the whole premise is awesome.

Just remember that once you have a good strategy you need to ask:

Will we be unique (enough)?

Will we be compelling (enough)?

Is our plan clear and can everyone in the organisation align behind it?

 

Finally…

To create a truly great organisation you’re going to need to work hard with more tenacity than you’ve ever mustered. But at least do the hard stuff in the right order. If you do it this way, then you significantly reduce the hard work later on. Why? Because so many of the questions that come up during discussions or projects or other activities are already answered for you. It means you don’t need to stop and think every five minutes, charging up and down logical levels to answer big questions. It means less projects will fail because they are aligned.

With this hard work behind you, and once you fully understand your customers and prospects, then you’ve laid the rails for success.

Digital agencies are in a unique position to combine business strategy, creativity, marketing and technology under one roof. The reason we continue to focus on digital is that it gives us a massive advantage. We have a unique and unprecedented perspective of customers: more and more of the touch points and interfaces with customers are digital. Not only do we have all the data, but because of our understanding of humans, it means we can create insight, leading to true business transformation.  

As an agency, we’ve moved into our blue ocean, one where just knowing nuts and bolts of digital, asking a few clever commercial questions, and creating beautiful artwork isn’t enough to escape the red ocean. Now we’re driving success for our clients through cutting-edge business consultancy and allowing customers to gain a true insight into their consumers through our award-winning neuromarketing offer.

If your agency isn’t helping to create your Blue Ocean Strategy, then give us a call and we’ll fast-track you to the next level of thinking.

 

Our third post in our Transform your Business series focuses on purpose. We’ve already covered how vital both an aligned vision and shared set of values are, but now it’s about really thinking about what drives your company. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

(Did you miss our past top tips for fundamentally transforming your business? Check them out here and here.)

Purpose

A sense of purpose is absolutely crucial to the health, efficiency and alignment of any business. It creates motivation and positive energy and compels people to help fulfil your vision.

When it comes down to your purpose - you either have a burning desire or you’re standing on a burning platform - one or the other. If you’ve got neither, then don’t read on as in all honesty you’re probably never going to succeed. 

So now you’ve (hopefully) worked out what gets you out of bed, you need to succinctly communicate this to everyone around you and see if they buy it - shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, clients and everyone involved in the success of the business.

Watch out for greed and watch out for fear. These are two really obvious reasons to be compelled to do anything, and they work well, but they have consequences in terms of the culture you create. 

Fear can create uncertainty and inevitably stress. It’s hard to have an organisation that communicates openly when everyone is afraid of failure or the consequences of not being perfect.

A Gecko said, “Greed is good,” and it can be for some people, but surprisingly money is not a major driver for most people and certainly no one wants to work with an organisation that is clearly greedy. If wealth generation is your purpose then expect to be used by people who equally wish to attain wealth - at all costs. Greed is a slippery slope.

Fear and greed, driven by the ruthlessness of detached shareholders, are very common motivators within PLCs. That’s one of these reasons why there’s so much politics and ‘arse covering’.

It’s much better to be compelled by a burning desire, to want to truly achieve greatness in whatever it is you’re doing. Just remember that as an individual and an organisation you really are making changes to the world, no matter how humble you are. Start from there and elaborate.

Read the next part of the series

Our third post in our Transform your Business series focuses on purpose. We’ve already covered how vital both an aligned vision and shared set of values are, but now it’s about really thinking about what drives your company. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

(Did you miss our past top tips for fundamentally transforming your business? Check them out here and here.)

Purpose

A sense of purpose is absolutely crucial to the health, efficiency and alignment of any business. It creates motivation and positive energy and compels people to help fulfil your vision.

When it comes down to your purpose - you either have a burning desire or you’re standing on a burning platform - one or the other. If you’ve got neither, then don’t read on as in all honesty you’re probably never going to succeed. 

So now you’ve (hopefully) worked out what gets you out of bed, you need to succinctly communicate this to everyone around you and see if they buy it - shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, clients and everyone involved in the success of the business.

Watch out for greed and watch out for fear. These are two really obvious reasons to be compelled to do anything, and they work well, but they have consequences in terms of the culture you create. 

Fear can create uncertainty and inevitably stress. It’s hard to have an organisation that communicates openly when everyone is afraid of failure or the consequences of not being perfect.

A Gecko said, “Greed is good,” and it can be for some people, but surprisingly money is not a major driver for most people and certainly no one wants to work with an organisation that is clearly greedy. If wealth generation is your purpose then expect to be used by people who equally wish to attain wealth - at all costs. Greed is a slippery slope.

Fear and greed, driven by the ruthlessness of detached shareholders, are very common motivators within PLCs. That’s one of these reasons why there’s so much politics and ‘arse covering’.

It’s much better to be compelled by a burning desire, to want to truly achieve greatness in whatever it is you’re doing. Just remember that as an individual and an organisation you really are making changes to the world, no matter how humble you are. Start from there and elaborate.

Read the next part of the series

Our third post in our Transform your Business series focuses on purpose. We’ve already covered how vital both an aligned vision and shared set of values are, but now it’s about really thinking about what drives your company. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

(Did you miss our past top tips for fundamentally transforming your business? Check them out here and here.)

Purpose

A sense of purpose is absolutely crucial to the health, efficiency and alignment of any business. It creates motivation and positive energy and compels people to help fulfil your vision.

When it comes down to your purpose - you either have a burning desire or you’re standing on a burning platform - one or the other. If you’ve got neither, then don’t read on as in all honesty you’re probably never going to succeed. 

So now you’ve (hopefully) worked out what gets you out of bed, you need to succinctly communicate this to everyone around you and see if they buy it - shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, clients and everyone involved in the success of the business.

Watch out for greed and watch out for fear. These are two really obvious reasons to be compelled to do anything, and they work well, but they have consequences in terms of the culture you create. 

Fear can create uncertainty and inevitably stress. It’s hard to have an organisation that communicates openly when everyone is afraid of failure or the consequences of not being perfect.

A Gecko said, “Greed is good,” and it can be for some people, but surprisingly money is not a major driver for most people and certainly no one wants to work with an organisation that is clearly greedy. If wealth generation is your purpose then expect to be used by people who equally wish to attain wealth - at all costs. Greed is a slippery slope.

Fear and greed, driven by the ruthlessness of detached shareholders, are very common motivators within PLCs. That’s one of these reasons why there’s so much politics and ‘arse covering’.

It’s much better to be compelled by a burning desire, to want to truly achieve greatness in whatever it is you’re doing. Just remember that as an individual and an organisation you really are making changes to the world, no matter how humble you are. Start from there and elaborate.

Read the next part of the series

Our third post in our Transform your Business series focuses on purpose. We’ve already covered how vital both an aligned vision and shared set of values are, but now it’s about really thinking about what drives your company. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

(Did you miss our past top tips for fundamentally transforming your business? Check them out here and here.)

Purpose

A sense of purpose is absolutely crucial to the health, efficiency and alignment of any business. It creates motivation and positive energy and compels people to help fulfil your vision.

When it comes down to your purpose - you either have a burning desire or you’re standing on a burning platform - one or the other. If you’ve got neither, then don’t read on as in all honesty you’re probably never going to succeed. 

So now you’ve (hopefully) worked out what gets you out of bed, you need to succinctly communicate this to everyone around you and see if they buy it - shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, clients and everyone involved in the success of the business.

Watch out for greed and watch out for fear. These are two really obvious reasons to be compelled to do anything, and they work well, but they have consequences in terms of the culture you create. 

Fear can create uncertainty and inevitably stress. It’s hard to have an organisation that communicates openly when everyone is afraid of failure or the consequences of not being perfect.

A Gecko said, “Greed is good,” and it can be for some people, but surprisingly money is not a major driver for most people and certainly no one wants to work with an organisation that is clearly greedy. If wealth generation is your purpose then expect to be used by people who equally wish to attain wealth - at all costs. Greed is a slippery slope.

Fear and greed, driven by the ruthlessness of detached shareholders, are very common motivators within PLCs. That’s one of these reasons why there’s so much politics and ‘arse covering’.

It’s much better to be compelled by a burning desire, to want to truly achieve greatness in whatever it is you’re doing. Just remember that as an individual and an organisation you really are making changes to the world, no matter how humble you are. Start from there and elaborate.

Read the next part of the series


Want to find out more?

  • In this series of blog posts, I’m going to give you some awesome insight into what some of the biggest organisations still fail to do effectively, and give you the five top tips to fundamentally transform your organisation.

Meet the Author

  • Jonny Tooze
  • MD & Founder

Jonny Tooze is a successful entrepreneur, thought-leader and public speaker actively helping to shape and influence the digital industry. Jonny has been hooked on digital from the start of his career and has regularly won accolades and awards, including BIMA Hot 100 2014/2015/2016 and The Drum Digerati 2015, with both organisations voting him as a top 100 digital influencer in the UK. Get in touch with Jonny on twitter @JonnyTooze.