Year after year, the business puts some very ambitious objectives on your team's plate. Tackling them is never easy. Limited budget, scarce time, and unrelenting pressure seem to worsen with each new fiscal, and can make them seem out of reach.
It's tempting to ask your folks to work quickly and internally within the org to knock these items off their to-do list. After all, they are also responsible for a long list of essential "business as usual" activities that keep the whole machine running, even though they don't get as much visibility outside of your group. But asking them to work within a bubble doesn't sit well with you either; you know that for these activities to be successful, they must connect to the other parts of the customer experience.
So how do you strike a balance between speed and collaboration?
It's a no-brainer; you and your partners in other functions are all serving the same customers. The best way for your teams to stay in sync while they work in parallel is to have a common set of research and data on customers.
But as obvious as it sounds, this isn't how all organizations operate. For many, market research and business intelligence are conducted in silos, within separate functional areas. Not only does this makes it difficult to make consistent decisions across teams - it's more expensive to conduct research this way, and the findings and reports often differ.
Sequent can help your business get a shared insights program in place that is smarter and more cost-effective, so you're ready to collaborate on a winning gameplan.
This is just one of many opportunities for your business to update its approach to strategy. You're not alone; on the whole, "Corporate America" is long overdue for a change in this department.
Most companies are still using a framework that was developed in the 1990's. Parts of it are still valuable for specific aspects of strategy - for example, laddered objectives are a great way to get the entire business focused on a goal they can all affect. But we need additional tools in our box for addressing other market dynamics.
More and more organizations are turning to Agile - for better, or for worse. Heavily promoted by the management consulting industry, Agile showed strong initial results when it was used for its initial purpose: to drive product development within a larger go-to-market strategy. Outside of IT and Product, Agile has shown mixed results on "business-side" projects - largely because these initiatives were hastily launched without the guidance of an overarching strategic framework to provide critical market context, ensure sufficient demand, and gauge alignment with other efforts.
There is one key reason that teams haven't been able to recognize when Agile wasn't the right tool for the job: the background, tools, and application of business strategy are not well understood across the organization. Few would disagree that their teams need better access to the body of knowledge around strategy; the challenge is that much of what's written on the topic is buried within dense academic literature.
Sequent has extracted that knowledge to create a set of courses which will help your team accelerate their strategic learning. We've also developed a smart, practical framework - soon to be operationalized in a strategy and execution platform which will kick-start your organization's use of best practices during and after the learning curve.
These gaps are ironic because effetive management is one of the most written-about topics in business publishing. Even with all of these resources and perspectives, most organizations' approach to execution lies largely in tracking accomplishments against goals, and providing some form of training to people managers.
Some management practices are being operationalized better than others. For example, maybe you're fortunate enough to work in an organization whose leadership actively prioritizes and balances the full portfolio of work across functions, including BAU and projects. These processes help concentrate efforts on the most impactful projects and eliminate unnecessary strain on work teams.
However, the odds suggest the opposite happens at your company: senior leadership lobs a long list of initiatives over the wall, every single one is deemed critical, and the success or failure of each is largely determined by a roller-derby like scramble for resources. It's bad enough that this throws prioritization out the window - what's worse is that it actively rewards toxic management behavior.
Servant leadership, which has shown to be a strong and effective approach over the long-term, simply cannot succeed in this type of management culture. Even so - it can be difficult to figure out how to interrupt the cycle and cultivate better ways of working.
At Sequent, our management consulting practice focuses on cross-functional portfolio management, enhanced communication, and a structured approach to removing the barriers that work teams face. Our strategy and management platform - coming soon - is designed to help companies break bad habits and accelerate the adoption of better and more productive management practices.
The services described below will give you a preview of the different ways we help our clients. But becaquse every company is unique - with distinct strengths and challenges - we find that a real-time consultation is a much better way for us to outline a specific approach to help your business.
Contact us today for a free discovery session and a tailored capabilities overview!