Consolidation actions

We are surely facing the most critical point of all those we have included in a transformation project of an industrial company. The one in which the organization endorses everything we have been saying. The one in which we go from the more or less complicated brainy studies of the market, the competition, our own organization, etc., to the reality that the organization “buys” the project.

This depends on the degree of participatory process that we have opened in the organization and the depth of it. Sometimes this is difficult to carry out due to different pressures from stakeholders, depending on the situation of the company, due to lack of time (the greater and deeper the participation, generally the longer the duration of the participation) or for other reasons.

It is also true that sometimes, forging those consensuses of acceptance of the strategy is not achieved even with a high degree of inclusion, since it is a process where many clashes occur, assignments are necessary, and not everyone understands and accepts well that what he or she thinks is relevant to include in the final strategy, it may not be relevant to others and ultimately is not included.

And for this, it is important that after having carried out the strategic reflection that has been detailed in the previous sections, the actions that will contribute to its consolidation are defined in the strategy itself. Therefore, aspects such as the following ones must be clearly written:

  • How often the strategy is reviewed, and especially for what reasons. The fact that a strategy is determined for a full-time period does not mean that it cannot be reviewed in front of events that advise doing it. As a minimum, a triennial review is recommended. But, as I say, there are circumstances that, especially at the beginning of the transformation project, recommend doing it more often.

  • Annual action plan. The strategy should be carried out through an annual implementation plan, where elements such as the following ones are thoroughly detailed:

    • The actions to carry it out.

    • The goals chased for the year.

    • The measurement of the goals to be carried out.

    • The review cadence and the forum or forums to do so.

    • How the PDCA cycle is put into practice, and the corresponding corrective actions in the event of relevant deviations from goals of the plan observed.

    • The company’s balance scorecard, understood as such, the one that gives the global vision of how it goes.

  • Deployment of the strategy in the organization:

    • Explanation plan for it.

    • Goals and indicators by department.

    • Preparation of the balance scorecard.

    • Goals and indicators for each individual who participates in the goals plan.

    • Methodology for their review.

  • Deployment of goals in the organization. There must be a total alignment between the goals:

    • Strategic.

    • Functional.

    • Departmental.

    • Individual.

  • The way to undertake the alignment is very simple. It is a pyramidal system:

    • For each strategic goal, at least one of each level is chosen. In this way the relevance of the goals is guaranteed.

      • Once the process is finished, the number of those that exist is observed, and it is outlined. For example, a person should have between 5 to 7 goals, including individual and collective ones. Therefore, it is necessary to see, of all those who have left, those who are closest to the role, without exceeding those scales.

    • Bounded in time to the annual plan. Then, at most, they will be annual, and may also be of a shorter duration.

    • The way of measuring all of them must be consistent. It cannot be that a functional goal, for example, has a way of measuring different than the strategic one from which it emanates.

    • It is very important that each strategic goal be specific, because otherwise we run the risk of a high dispersion in the lower steps, the greater the lower the level.

    • We have already discussed that all of them must be achievable. That does not have to take away the difficulty or rigor in achieving them. Three things must be clear:

      • It is not a system for anyone to earn extra money easily.

      • It is a system to align the organization around the needs of the company.

      • A goal that is difficult to achieve or classified as “impossible” produces the opposite effect of demobilizing the organization.

  • Transparency is very important in this matter. Usually strategic plans are dense and with complex terminology. To avoid lack of interest, and that the people of the organization get involved in it, it is convenient to carry out a series of actions:

    • Prepare a short and simple documentation, indicating the great challenges and distribute it among people, or at least facilitate its accessibility at all levels.

    • Carry out regular follow-up meetings, more or less crowded, where the truth is explained, openly, and in a language that everyone can understand, about how the company is performing.

    • When we go to make a review or make a new plan, it is interesting to form multidisciplinary and multilevel work groups, so that they take an active part, and see how and in what way it affects them.

  • Let’s not fall into the mistake of thinking that there is lack of interest in these issues in the organization. If we see this lack of affection, it is because we have not been able to convey a message that engages. It is our responsibility to correct that path.