Solve Every Strategic Planning Dilemma with One Effective Framework
Is it really possible to solve major corporate strategy problems with just one framework? Friction between teams and leadership not buying into their own strategies result in numerous and often drastic results for businesses. It’s a recurring problem that many marketers have tried solving, but has proven elusive to be solved with a single framework. This has led to many projects and corporate moves that ended up in devastating results, or created more losses than gains for the company and its people. Leaders and their employees end up disappointed and demotivated, leading to even more friction between teams. You’ve probably gone through such a situation and tried too, but with not-so amazing results. That’s okay. Maybe it’s because people are too busy trying to solve all the problems with one solution – when perhaps the better thing to do is to find the root cause of those problems, and move cooperatively to apply business strategies starting with the leadership team and on to the rest. Sydney-based Marketing and Thought Leadership firm Exante found the closest build to an all-in, future-focused setup that can create a virtually frictionless framework. It can fit entire teams into the problem-solving train, turning them from problem spots to problem solvers: the Culturally Conditioned Process. What exactly is it? This process was devised by Exante COO Priya Mishra upon her years of experience and research into creating better working systems for businesses of every size and category. “In solving problems, technical skills and methodologies matter. But in reality these are challenged when building strategies with a futuristic approach. This is why we help businesses define their problems with scenario planning and unfold the layers of possibilities to map out the web of challenges, and then design the needed value proposition to deliver the best solution,” Priya says. The term may probably get confused with strategies concerning ethical, religious, and even moral perspectives of associates in a company, but it is very different. That said, being culturally-conditioned still hasto do something with culture, but not necessarily revolving just around it. In a business sense, this translates into creating a unique business culture of your company’s – in the same sense that a country creates its culture through the interaction of its citizens – for the success of its vision and objectives. It may touch on personal preferences but only on a light level. To be concise, the process revolves around creating the most essential mindset for a company’s workforce. Exante has identified what the ideal culture for a business should be: it is one where your teams, especially the leadership and sales or marketing teams, are communicating responsibly and supportive of one another. What makes such a team so awesome? They make business go more smoothly. Everyone gets to enjoy cooperating with each other. What does this mean for your business? It’s simple: Implementing strategies, capturing your market, managing your brand positioning, reporting your numbers, and laying down support systems become a whole lot easier. One analogy is like taking your car to a strict maintenance program. You’ll notice that it runs much better than before – the driving feels better, and your mileage per litre of fuel increases. What makes it different from other problem-solving strategies? A similar framework is called strategic leadership – but in this model, leadership still takes a big chunk of the effort needed to iron out differences between teams and motivating them. On the other hand, a culturally-conditioned workforce mutually supports, serves, and checks on one another. Here, the leadership team is only being the first and most important piece to buy-in on their strategies to facilitate the move and then the rest follow their agreed workflow. Many strategies such as the Problem Solving Loop are helpful but cannot be implemented on other industries. One successful example of the PSL model is a particular paper mill who used the process to save themselves from bankruptcy in 1938. However this process may not be applicable to all manufacturing firms or industries, and even more to those with very different infrastructure and employee systems. Cultural conditioning applies a basic thought process which makes it very generic as a process, yet very specific to the company using it. The process possesses uniquely modern characteristics that are flexible enough to fit even legacy corporations, and most especially large companies with their vast number of departments, sales, and leadership teams. It employs a predatory mindset – it empowers leadership teams, sales teams, marketing teams, and relevant departments with an objective-hungry mind. This leads teams to find ways to break through the disconcerting noise in today’s cluttered global marketplace. It is agile and swift – many companies today are moving in with a radical new principle in situational projection called “fail fast” and Exante’s process includes it in such a way that both business leaders and their department heads can save time and money by knowing how to determine outcomes, and to pivot, build, and deliver concepts at speed. It enables customer-centric thinking: At the turn of the millennium, businesses have transitioned from a “Do business with me” approach to one that radiates a “Let’s do business together” spirit. This human-to-human style of entrepreneurship makes it easier for businesses not only acquire customers but also build and maintain relationships with them. What makes engaging with audiences an effective tactic? It’s empathetic, and connects to the questions people ask and are looking for. People are more likely to look for a person they can trust – you’d want your business to be that entity they turn to for answers. The process is lastly also based on a futuristic approach, using to make sure all gaps, all stops, and holes are covered and tasks delegated responsibly to the relevant subject matter experts and departments. Scenario planning, according to Peter Johnson, Executive Director for Corporate Strategic Planning at healthcare company Lilly, is “a strong point to unleash employees as explorers, not advocates.” He notes that creating a drive to seek for indicators rather than sudden insights are key elements in estimating instead of predicting the future. If you’re interested to know more about the entire process, you can sign up through Exante’s portal here. At this point you might be thinking, “What are the driving pillars of this framework?” Here are the principles that surround this new and empowering system that could just be the answer to your company’s employee-leadership dilemmas. The Guiding Principles of the Cultural Conditioning Meeting the vision of stakeholders Every company has a unified vision, yet not all the time do the stakeholders get to meet that vision. This conditioning process makes transactions and information exchange frictionless between leaders and teams. It is vital for stakeholders to adhere to the company’s vision so as not to stray from their objective, and to maximise the participation of each department including the business leaders and management. Covering end-to-end enterprise From marketing strategy to managing content, culturally conditioning the workforce and leadership brings an end-to-end solution for the entire organisation. In a communication study reported by the Society for HR Management, about 400 companies with about 100,000 employees each, ineffective communication resulted in overheads, misaligned work and more, incurring them an average of $62.4M in losses. With a unified approach to communication, it will also enhance how various departments send and track their plan, learn of implementation hazards, and develop consistent support systems. Building up power of structured frameworks to achieve desired outcomes It integrates into existing frameworks of companies with its agility and flexibility. Large firms usually have a working system in place, but most of the time they can be further strengthened or have their gaps filled. Where other frameworks may interfere with a company’s current process, Exante’s can be tailor-fit to guarantee no troublesome conflicts that may arise or complicate the customer’s problems. Ensuring a holistic approach to marketing decisions Decision-making is an important factor in strategy formation, and even more important in execution. Exante builds a culture of critical thinking and results-focused decision-making through this framework. It also takes into consideration all potential factors that might affect the strategy’s success, and incorporates them into the production and implementation plans. Managing consistent governance and execution Reporting and transparency are valuable inclusions in a framework that targets to improve business performance. Without proper governance and execution, all the hard work and smart planning can fall apart. This process enables business leaders to effectively allocate budget and tasks, and watch how developments flow with transparent ROI and KPI reporting. In conclusion, Exante is probably the only agency offering the Culturally Conditioned Process anywhere – and if there’s a similar system out there, Exante’s is guaranteed to fit perfectly with your industry, your current setup, and whatever workforce delegations you have. With it, you can effectively plan out the future with more than just educated guesses, but with the force of entire leadership teams, sales teams, marketing teams, and relevant experts giving their best for one vision.