What is Your Strategic Cadence?
Strategy management is a holistic approach to managing any company. It is a discipline that requires energy, patience and persistence to develop the right organizational habits that help make strategy management an integrated part of how you manage your business. Unfortunately, for many, strategy development and execution is an ad-hoc and choppy process often left behind due to the urgency of running the day-to-day business. There is no strategic cadence.
As we have stated in many of our prior newsletters, strategy is a dynamic, not static. Strategy is about making choices and placing bets on the future state. Although these are intelligent bets based on past experiences and future possibilities, it is impossible to predict the future. Therefore, having a strategic cadence that includes regularly scheduled senior team strategy events throughout the year is a key factor of success.
We recommend a two-step approach to establishing a strategic cadence:
- Monthly check-ins that focus on execution of strategic activities. These are either individual and team discussions to ensure progress is being made and projects have the support and resources they need to achieve a successful outcome.
- Quarterly strategy sessions with the leadership team to measure, monitor and adapt the strategy. These sessions provide an opportunity to test the strategy against the current situation and evaluate and debate strategic issues. If there are any significant internal or external events that could impact achieving the strategic objectives, they will be raised, debated and acted on.
We have found that a strategic cadence will foster new thinking and creativity. It creates an environment that encourages people to think more broadly, beyond their own responsibilities and how they can contribute more to the company’s success.
The CEO and leadership team set the tone for establishing a strategic cadence and making it a priority for the organization. To establish an effective strategic cadence, consider the following:
- Agree to treat strategy meetings as a priority. Stay true to the cadence that you agreed to with your team.
- Commit to stay focused on high priority/high value activities and not waste time and resources on things not strategic.
Once the methodology for setting a strategic cadence is understood and accepted, certain expectations begin to form. In our experience, managers and employees come to accept and value the strategy as part of their day-to-day responsibilities.
Have you established a strategic cadence for your company? Let us know your thoughts, experiences, and challenges in establishing a strategic cadence. We would like to hear from you.