Strategico’s Strata of Customer Value©
When asked about their own organization’s business strategy, the most frequently expressed answer, if one can be provided, is describing multiple business tactics, which the organization applies to achieve their purported business goals. The surplus of tactics is expensive to execute, difficult to measure and can not answer to real question, “What strategy are you applying to achieve your organizational goals?” and therefore “How are you closing the gaps between current state and future state.
Business strategy can best be defined as knowing where you are (current state), knowing where you want to go (future state) and achieving consensus by the leadership team on how to do so. Unfortunately, a deficit of strategic thinking, usually comes with a surplus of tactics masquerading as strategy. Strategy needs not to be written, because the true value of strategy is getting the leadership team to clarify the current state, agree on a desired future state and then participate in positive debate on how to close the gap between the two.
Objectives are most often expressed by business owners as financial results only, denying the importance of building a “balanced” scorecard that recognizes how financial results, important to bankers and shareholders, but serve only as “lagging indicators” of success. Establishing, and measuring objectives for three “predictive indicators”; customer satisfaction, organizational learning & growth and operational process improvement. Balance is achieved where predictive, but measurable objectives combine to create lagging indicators, or financial results.
Goals should always be directional, motivational and personalized to the organization. Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) allow strong organizations to increase their customer-perceived value, while allowing the organization to improve performance by learning and growth, increasing customer satisfaction and thus loyalty, improving operational efficiency and ultimately delivering improved financial results.