What is Strategy?
In a nutshell, a Strategy is a “Game Plan” or a high-level plan for how your company will achieve its winning aspirations (i.e. how you will win). It is a coordinated and integrated set of choices to help your company to create value in your industry. Specifically, your organization’s Strategy is a set of choices that uniquely position your company to create a sustainable competitive advantage in your industry and deliver superior value to your customers relative to your competition (this is paraphrasing directly from “What is Strategy?” on p.3 in “Playing to Win” by AG Lafley and Roger Martin). Also, your Strategy should be communicated in a way that is simple and clear so as to help your teams achieve your organization’s top quarterly and annual OKRs / goals as well as give you a momentum in the right direction towards your long-term vision (which is a broad, long-term goal). When you review your Strategy, you can see the necessary initiatives and direction that align your organization’s limited resources – people, time and money – to achieve your goals successfully.
Setting goals is at the foundation of Strategy (e.g. like OKRs). And doing continuous performance management with regular check-ins is the most critical way to execute your strategy. It is these check-ins that connect strategy to execution. According to Wikipedia, “Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited. Strategy involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute these actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves strategic planning and strategic thinking.” Strategy is critical for the purpose of effective “Strategic Management” which is defined by Wikipedia as “the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by a company’s top management. Strategic management provides overall direction to the enterprise and involves specifying the organization’s objectives”
A “one page” strategic plan (which we call “TOPS” or “The One Page Strategy”) is the most effective simple and clear way to communicate your Strategic choices to the entire organization and should answer: What are we (our mission)? What do we ultimately want to be (our vision)? How do we get there (the core values, the differentiation, our objectives, and other factors that get us to where we want to be, etc.)? What are our strategic priorities or pillars which will be the source of our quarterly and annual goals? What are the actual measurable quarterly goals as well as annual goals that we must achieve?
Strategic Priorities (Strategic Pillars) that Connect to Top OKRsEvery company must first come up with its Strategic Priorities before setting the Top Organizational OKRs. You should have a strategic plan in place before creating and implementing OKRs because strategy is the context for your Top Organizational OKRs. In fact, OKRs should never be created in a vacuum and must be directly translated from your mission, vision and strategic priorities. OKRs ultimate support your drive towards the achievement of your strategic pillars/priorities and ultimate the vision.
“The One Page Strategy” (TOPS)
Our TOPS feature was inspired by Verne Harnish and Gazelles International’s One Page Strategic Plan. But Atiim’s TOPS is made more for the critical challenges and requirements of our global mid-market customers (companies with 100-2,000 employees) who have spoken up and told us what were the critical requirements for their One Page Strategy.
Mission / Core Purpose
Our mission is to transform how organizations grow more effectively.
Our 10 Year Vision / BHAG ™
To be the world’s leading software for organizational alignment and better business execution.
Core Values / Beliefs
- 1. Customer Needs First – Always
- 2. Teamwork & Alignment
- 3. Do Your Job
- 4.Do The Right Thing
- 5. Bias for Action – Run Fast and Break Things
- 6. Ownership
- 7. Learn and Improve Continuously
- 8. Openness
- 9. Have Fun & Be Positive
- 10. Make a Positive Contribution