connected 400x265Capturing your primary strategic goals using Strategy Mapping.

Here we discuss one possible method for capturing your strategic goals, enabling you to translate your key guiding principles into a coherent set of business practices that can be communicated and rolled out to the wider business.  And as always, communication is key.

Communicating your driving principles to your organisation in a clear and coherent way is critical to seeing a wider engagement and use of those principles across your organisation.  The first step in this process is for the leadership team to have clarity itself on what those key principles are.

Strategy maps provide such a tool.  A strategy map is an evolution of the balanced scorecard, it enables you to visually plot your key principles across a number of business objectives.  These objectives can range from revenue growth to market positioning and are specific to your company’s desired goals.

Crucially, the strategy map will highlight the relationships between your key principles, your overall business objectives and the business function that will be required to deliver those objectives.

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By giving those business functions, or rather employees sight of these relationships, and how their work contributes and is aligned to those business objectives, you’re enabling them to work in a coordinated, collaborative and empowered way.

For a wonderfully left field but powerful demonstration of giving your organisation this vision check out Tom Wujec’s Ted Talk.

Strategy Maps

The Strategy Map encapsulates a business’ vision, mission, promise to its users, its core values, and its strategic objectives.  It states what the business strives to be and do for the business’ clients.

The premise behind a successful strategy map is that businesses should measure performance in several ways.  Specifically, they must consider success from four different perspectives:

  • Finance
  • Customer
  • Internal Business Processes
  • Learning and Growth

The strategy map incorporates and links these four perspectives into a visual framework. At the highest level, the map presents the organization’s mission, values, and vision—why it exists, what success looks like, and what its future looks like.

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Then it presents the strategy by defining objectives and performance measures for each of the four perspectives. The map presents the four perspectives as separate levels, the top level of the map shows the objectives and performance measures from the financial perspective, and then one level below it shows the objectives and performance measures from the customer perspective and so on.

The Benefits of Strategy Mapping

Strategy maps highlight the relationships and links by which targeted improvements can create desired outcomes.  For example, how an improved IT capability and an improved knowledge of that capability amongst employees can lead to a higher retention of customers and levels of customer satisfaction,

In summary, mapping your key principles to your overall business vision will have these key benefits:

  • It clearly explains to employees what matters most in your business
  • Each employee will understand the behaviours and success measures required of their role
  • Forms the foundation for developing success measure strategically and operationally
  • Aligns the organisation from top to bottom with the vision and principles driving that strategy
  • Provides you with a roadmap to success

This last point is particularly pertinent – strategy maps show how an organisation will convert its initiatives and resources including intangibles such as business culture and employee knowledge, into tangible outcomes.  The organisation clarifies what is most important—what will drive it toward achieving its vision.

All decisions can be viewed through the lens of strategy, and the map makes the decision-making process easier.