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How Strategic Focus Can Transform Your Organization | By Paul Miklautsch

Strategic Focus

It all starts with clearly articulating your goals and creating a plan of action to get there. Here’s how strategic focus can transform your organization. 

An organization’s strategic focus aligns and provides clarity to internal employees to work together on delivering the right value to customers. It starts at the top by having a clear and succinct business strategy, then moves down the organization to the individual product.

As you hear Start Something Bold talk about the value and importance of having a strategic focus, there are multiple levels of defining this within an organization.  Depending on your business, the perspective of the strategic focus should be looking out 3, 5, or 10 years. 

Strategic Focus areas:

  • Organization 
  • Group Division
  • Product System
  • Product 

Organization Strategic Focus

At the highest level, this strategic focus evaluates the business performance to external factors to determine if a pivot is needed. For instance, many organizations are realizing the need to focus on technology and understanding what digital transformation means to their business.  The implications are clear - ignore how technology may impact your business and risk staying relevant or pursue understanding what it may mean to your company.  

To provide the organization with the necessary inputs, an internal and external assessment should be done. An internal review of market segments, product performance, and customer satisfaction should be reviewed, analyzed, and deeply discussed. At the same time, an external review of competitors, technology advancements, customer behaviors, and traction of start-ups in your space will provide a great perspective outside the organization.

This is a great time to conduct a voice of the customer research project.  These insights will guide areas to strengthen, focus deeply, or pivot in new directions.  

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Division Strategic Focus

In larger organizations, there may be multiple divisions that also need to understand their strategic focus.  In the same way that the organization needs to conduct internal and external assessments, each division needs to conduct its own landscape to understand their performance and competitiveness in the market. 

 

Product System Strategic Focus

As the strategic focus works down to the product level, it may require relooking at how the product portfolio changes with technological advancements and how your products and services will work together in the future.  Diving deeper into emerging technology advancements or specific competitors will give you input into making decisions on areas that are needed to explore further. This may include exploring strategic partnerships, investigating technology, making an acquisition, or determining a need to hire new skills. 

 

Product Strategic Focus 

At the individual product level, it’s important to understand the product lifecycles and how your product pipeline will influence sales of existing products.  If sales are peaking, it’s time to consider options to improve the features of the product, plan to end-of-life the product, or introduce something brand new. This will help objectively evaluate product performance and the level of innovation needed to stay relevant to customers.  

 

Success

A successful strategic focus will have the necessary inputs to have informed discussions with business leaders so that clear next steps could be pursued. It will provide a long term perspective on where the business is going, what the assumptions are to reach that goal, and what specific next steps are needed to learn. 

Do you need need help defining strategic focus throughout your organization?   

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By Paul Miklautsch - January 23, 2020

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