In this episode of Strategy Podcast, I want to focus on the fourth issue I see happening with respect to problems in the strategy execution process or mistakes companies make that cause difficulties in the strategy execution process.
This mistake is really jumping from the strategy to functional planning too quickly. There’s actually an intermediate step in there, which is cross functional planning. So you’ve gone to the effort to build the strategy ideally which is for the company.
That strategy deserves a wholistic plan of attack and that really requires cross functional planning. That means taking the top people from each of the functions and their people, getting them together and hashing through the details of this top level plan, and at that point, once you’ve gone through that work, and it’s easy to work, it takes time and effort, then you’re in a much better place to move into functional planning, and then you can work through the next stages of budgeting etcetera.
But if you’ve gone through that process by putting in that cross functional effort and that cross functional work you end up with a much stronger chance of having a strategy execution work in a way that really takes advantage of the entire organization.
Because if you jump to this functional planning too quickly what you’re really doing is really optimizing marketing, and sales, and manufacturing in isolation of each other.
You’re not really taking the advantage of the system effect that you can get when you actually optimize across the functions. And that’s what strategy is really about, it’s all about maximizing the potential of the whole not about maximizing your sales force, or your marketing, or your manufacturing individually.
It’s really about taking that wholistic perspective and that really requires building a cross functional plan and putting in the time and effort to build that cross functional plan so that by the time you’ve driven it down into the functional plans a lot of those the trade offs across the functions have already been made, and the functions have much clearer perspective on what they need to do to contribute to making that plan a reality.
So make sure you, not just, jump straight from strategy to functional planning, make sure that there is that intermediate stage step, where you’ve done the proper work around cross functional planning to really optimize the whole organization.
I hope this Strategy Podcast has been useful and helpful to you in your work. I’m Alex Nesbitt, and I’ll see you in the next podcast.