Rapid technological progress, shifting customer expectations and unexpected events such as the global pandemic are prompting organizations of all sizes to reevaluate their strategic plans so they can remain competitive. Growth opportunities may emerge from shifts in demand, new regulations and unanticipated social and economic disruption. They may also come organically from the development of new products, services and capabilities.
In any scenario, the effectiveness of your enterprise growth strategy can make the difference between a smooth, focused path to success or a stop-and-start journey that might never reach your desired destination.
It’s a good time, especially now as the global economy transforms, to reassess your enterprise growth strategy with an eye to a total reset or simply to improve its effectiveness. Why?
Quite simply, we at RSM have found that most companies benefit from such an assessment because it brings in a fresh perspective and new tools with which to reevaluate your strategy effectively. Reviewing your underlying assumptions and plans can help you make sure they’re still viable and comprise a strategy that’s tightly aligned to your business goals.
How effective is your enterprise growth strategy?
One of the most common course corrections to come out of a strategy assessment is a complete refocus of an organization’s goals. Sometimes reevaluating your growth strategy reveals that your company hasn’t been asking the right questions and therefore has focused on the wrong things on its path to growth. Other times, companies simply outgrow their strategy as they expand but forget to update it to keep pace with that growth. In other cases, a strategy isn’t well articulated, documented or communicated, so it never really gains traction.
In addition, without closely examining all angles of the challenges and opportunities facing your organization, your team may make assumptions that can take your company down the wrong path. Since enterprise growth typically involves high-stakes decisions and major financial and resource investments, it’s imperative that you develop a solid strategy and a plan for measuring the success of its execution from the start. Otherwise, your organization will simply embark on a costly game of trial and error, rather than making steady progress toward clearly defined goals.
Getting an external perspective can help an organization avoid the risk of investing time and energy in the wrong places. An unbiased and experienced outsider can see opportunities and potential challenges through a different lens than those your organization may be using and help ensure you’re asking the right questions to guide your strategic plans.
For an example of the impact that a strategic reassessment can have on your organization, consider the story of a consumer products company that recently approached RSM about setting up a new IT system in China for a planned expansion. After asking a number of key questions, RSM consultants determined that what the company really needed was to suss out the right business model for operating in China. In the end, the best-fitting strategic model didn’t require an IT investment at all, which saved the company an enormous amount of time, money and effort.
Refining strategy for better results
Strategy assessments can also help a business understand how mature its strategic planning processes are. This can help company leaders identify areas where the organization can be strengthened to ensure that it only spends time on what matters.
Even if you feel your organization is already well-positioned for future success, improving your enterprise growth strategy can help accelerate your company’s growth and confirm the validity of the decisions you’ve made to further support your plans.
Conducting a strategy assessment based on the following five levels of strategic maturity could drive the creation of a uniquely designed maturity model that’s a better fit for your organization:
- Level 1: Initial. Strategy is inconsistently defined, poorly controlled and reactive.
- Level 2: Reactive. Strategy is characterized for specific projects, and the organization is reactive.
- Level 3: Defined. Strategy is characterized for the organization and is proactive.
- Level 4: Managed. Enterprise strategy is managed, measured and controlled.
- Level 5: Optimizing. The organization is focused on optimizing strategy
Identifying your organization’s current level of strategic maturity will provide a baseline from which to identify what’s needed for improvement. For example, your assessment might find that your company’s strategy is well defined but that the executive team needs a better way to measure, communicate and review its KPIs via a strategy dashboard to enable proactive control over strategy execution.
Shaping your growth strategy for tomorrow’s challenges
In our fast-paced global economy, the frequency of challenges that require C-suite decision-making will only continue to accelerate. When you have a solid enterprise growth strategy in place, it’s easier to make these types of decisions. A growth strategy that’s clearly defined, documented and communicated will position your organization to rapidly pivot and pursue opportunities.
Whether it leads to minor refinements or to a complete rethinking of your company’s goals and direction, regularly reevaluating your growth strategy is essential to keeping your organization on track to success. RSM’s consultants can add value to your growth strategy assessment by providing the outside perspective necessary to help you look at things in new ways. With deep experience in a wide range of industries, we help our clients develop, communicate and execute a strategic vision that will guide them both today and tomorrow.