Make sure Business & Operational Strategies Align...
It goes without saying (or at least it should) that most businesses have a plan. A business plan. A strategy to which it defines its 'True-North'. Is purpose and what it wants to achieve. However, over the course of my career, I've witnessed a disconnect between the understanding of a business strategy at a C-suit level, and how the rest of the business understands it (or doesn't!). This usually results in no one but the top executives understanding what it means, and more importantly, how it is going to be achieved. 

A business strategy will lay out the end goal of changes to the business. It may decide what new markets it wants to enter, what clients it wants to go after, or what improvements it wants to make to its products or services. However, a strategy alone is not enough to make the desired change happen. In order to actualize a strategy, an innovative process that keeps the business focused is needed. 

What this means is that the business must support, and (in a perfect world) enforce the redefinition of what the business strategy contains. By redefinition, I mean, make sure that it includes operational measures that set out to deliver the desired strategic goals as outlined for the business. 


"Linking strategy with operations requires first defining a strategy for operations. 
Only then can those strategies be mapped out
into roll out actions..."



A business strategy must therefore include:














If these four considerations are implemented and executed right, it allows the entire business to focus on specific objectives and actions. This allows everyone to be clear about the role they play in achieving the overall strategy for the business. 

"A clear plan of how to achieve the strategy for the business
eliminates confusion and increases the probability
of achieving the objectives mapped out in the strategy..."



Its also important to remember that just because business and operational strategies are aligned, it doesn’t guarantee that they will be achieved.
Operational strategy is a perpetual process of assessment, data collection, understanding what both are indicating about the performance of any changes being made to the business, and then readjusting strategies to ensure that they stay on course. 

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In summary, businesses need to make sure that operational strategies are not left as an afterthought. By committing to a strategic objective without first considering the degree to which a change to operations will be needed to achieve that objective; it runs the real risk of committing to something that cannot be achieved. Consider what will be required of processes, systems, culture and people in order to achieve the business objective before committing to pursuing it.
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At Flusso we question a business’s ability to survive an increasingly challenging future if not constantly assessing, adjusting and getting better at the way things are done.
I partner with businesses that are preparing to develop innovative, forward-thinking, ambitious business strategies that pursue excellence. I assess and design the operational change needed to actualize these strategies, resulting in a clear way forward for stakeholders to understand the practicalities, the day-to-day operations, and responsibilities that tie into their ability to play their part in achieving the overall goals.

Writer:
Robin Hook | Flusso Consulting | Founder