How to Operationalise your Strategy

Updated: May 15

January flashes past in the blink of an eye, as it does every year. Then February. being shorter is a very busy month for most, which means that you need to plan appropriately so that you can hit the ground running. So, have you got your strategy in place? Even more important than that, have you determined how you are going to operationalise your strategy to make it happen?

A few years back a dear friend introduced

OKRs to me.

OKRs stand for objectives and key results. This is a goal-setting framework that has been popularised by innovative, agile organisations such as Google. OKRs are used to identify the outcomes or measures of success that would be most impactful to enable the strategy over a one to three-year timeframe. OKRs provide clarity for progress towards organisational targets.

Late last year I was working with an executive team to help them develop their 3-year strategy. I facilitated an OKR session with the executive team, and after 2 days we rolled out their 3-year strategy.

To make the rubber hit the road we needed to translate this strategy into a plan that could be executed, so we developed a strategic road map for future project delivery.

Here are some tips on how I did this.

Firstly, I created a process to analyse the impact of proposed projects and rated their alignment with the organisational strategy. We used a priority matrix to plot the projects and roughly identify the order of magnitude. The priority matrix had an impact score on the Y-axis and an effort rating on the X-axis. We then colour coded, with post-it notes, each project to identify their strategic alignment and connection to the strategic pillars.

Once each project was plotted, the graphic representation made it easier to clearly see what would have the most significant impact and what might require the most effort. We could also see what things were not an immediate priority, and we were able to identify the projects and activities that could be postponed.

We concluded the session by creating a ‘plan on a page' to communicate the key strategic pillars, OKRs, a sequence of strategic priorities, and projects for the organisation over the next 12 - 24 months.

The leaders at the session were overwhelmingly positive about the outcomes. The one-page strategic plan's transparency provides an effective planning tool and a platform for quickly identifying budget and resourcing needs.

Do you need help with operationalising your strategy?

Written by Claire Gray

Claire Gray

Consultant, Coach & Facilitator at Thriving Culture

Claire is passionate about building high performing teams and people so that they can thrive. She is an accomplished HR Consultant, Coach & Facilitator and has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, Leadership & Organisational Development, and Change Management. Claire works with businesses on their People Strategy to develop their leadership capability, embed a purpose led-culture, and build a high performing team. She holds a Masters of Business (Human Resource Management), a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, and is a certified Facet5 (personality assessment) practitioner. With over 500 coaching hours and accreditation with the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership, Claire works with clients as an Executive/ Leadership coach, career and small business coach.

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